QPS boosts pay for union, non-union staff

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Feb. 28, 2019 10:50 pm

QUINCY -- The Quincy School Board boosted staff pay Wednesday night for the 2019-20 school year.

The four-year contract ratified in November 2017 called for a 1.7 percent increase for staff in the coming year, but "we had a line in there if we get increased funding from the state, they get a percentage, up to 2 percent," Superintendent Roy Webb said. "We are going to receive $340,000 in new monies from the state through the evidence-based funding formula."

The 1.7 percent raise for union employees will cost the district $522,800. Boosting the raise to 2 percent from 1.7 percent adds $92,000 to the cost -- a total of $614,800.

"We continue to try to make our teachers' pay more competitive," Webb said.

Board members also agreed to a 2 percent raise for non-union employees, a cost of $101,000 to the district.

"The standard rule of thumb for the district is whatever we put in the union contract in terms of increase is the same we do for our non-union employees," board member Carol Nichols said. "There's a certain equality across the board."

Also Wednesday, board members approved an e-rate proposal for equipment and connections for the new K-5 buildings and Quincy High School.

The school district can buy quality network connections and equipment at an 80 percent discount through the federal program, which allocates funding based on enrollment and free and reduced-price lunch numbers.

QPS IT Coordinator Dan Ware said, "It makes something that would probably not be possible, or it makes it a lot easier. We'll be upgrading internet for the whole district."

The connections include one from Denman to QHS and an upgrade in internet bandwidth districtwide, along with a new district firewall, network switches, wireless access points and network closet equipment for Denman, Baldwin and QHS.

Ware said some of the equipment will be installed soon by contractors at the new buildings, with other work done over the summer.

"The funding year for what we're getting approved doesn't start until July 1," he said. "Some things we'll just be getting infrastructure ready and turning it up on July 1 or figuring out a way to get that going."

In other action, the Quincy School Board:

º Adopted a resolution to issue about $6.7 million in general obligation bonds for more than 50 life health safety projects.

Chief of Business Operations Ryan Whicker said $6.1 million in bonds were sold Wednesday with investors interested in buying at a premium or paying more for the bonds in exchange for a higher interest rate. The district will net $6.7 million. "Selling at a premium also pays for all the bond issuance costs," Whicker said.

The money should be available to the district on March 20, Whicker said.

º Approved bids for five life safety projects reviewed by the Building Committee -- new stage curtain, rigging and acoustical shell at Quincy Junior High School, new doors at the Early Childhood and Family Center, new roof at Baldwin, new balcony railings in the Baldwin gym and new lockers for the girls locker room at QJHS.

º Heard a report on second-quarter discipline data, which showed a drop in out-of-school suspension days.

º Learned the district sold surplus vehicles and equipment through sealed bids. The minimum bid for all the items was $26,650, but "we ended up selling the vehicles and equipment for $44,350 an additional $17,700 we weren't expecting," Whicker said.