congratulated each other in the peaceful negotiation of a new two-year
collective bargaining agreement between the Duneland School Board and the
Duneland Teachers Association.
The School Board
adopted the agreement at its meeting Monday by a vote of 5-0. The new
contract contains fringe benefits and salary provisions for DTA members as
did the previous contract adopted by the board last year, which was the
result of many long negotiations.
June 30, 2019, the contract stipulates that the salary range for the 2017-18
school year will be $39,000 to $70,235 and the range for 2018-19 will be
$40,000 to $72,235. Teachers who receive an effective or highly effective
rating and have worked a minimum of 120 school days are eligible to see a
$2,000 increase in their base salaries for 2017-18 and a 2 percent increase
for 2018-19, according to the contract.
Before the vote,
DTA co-president Bobbi Hall expressed her gratitude to the board, Schools
Superintendent Ginger Bolinger and Chief Financial Officer Lynn Kwilasz.
“I want to express,
not only for myself but also for (DTA negotiator Bob DeRuntz and
co-president Anne Stark), we feel really good about the relationship that
was formed and all that you do for our teachers. We greatly appreciate
that,” Hall said, prompting applause from those in the audience.
“We love our
teachers,” responded Board President Kristin Kroeger.
Bolinger, who is in
her first year as superintendent, echoed that “it was a very great session.”
everyone’s work. We value our teachers. We want our employees to be paid
well and I recommend approval of this contract in that spirit,” Bolinger
told the board.
DeRuntz said the
Duneland Schools Administration Office plans to issue a press statement on
the contract but commented the Chesterton Tribune that the contract
and partnership with the DTA and the administration lays the groundwork for
attracting highly-skilled teachers to Duneland.
Also, the board
approved changes to the Duneland employee health plan recommended by the
insurance committee. The plan will now offer a high deductible plan with a
health savings account that employees can participate in starting Jan. 1.
Bolinger said the
premium that would have been paid for by the school corporation to a PPO
plan can now be added to an employee’s health savings account. The money
accumulated in the HSA over the years can be used for health care expenses
corporation is also looking to change its wellness service provider,
Bolinger said, by switching to Wellness For Life. She said more information
will be shared at next month’s school board meeting.
Along with the DTA
contract, the board voted 5-0 to adopt the proposed 2018 budget for Duneland
separate resolutions for the budget’s tax levied funds -- the Capital
Projects Fund, the Bus Replacement Fund and Pension Debt Obligations.
The total budget is
$69,351,347, which is $2 million higher than what was advertised for 2017.
The general fund,
which is the largest fund and is determined by the State’s school funding
formula and pays for teacher salaries and programs, is at $39.1 million in
the 2018 budget.
Duneland plans to
replace eight buses next year, with an estimated $826,130 in its Bus
Replacement Fund. The Transportation Operations Fund was adopted at $4.3
million and the School Referendum Fund at $7.6 million.
proposed tax rate for 2018 is $1.0806 per $100 of assessed valuation.
The state will
certify the final budget levy and the tax rate early next year.
of Support Services Greg Lindy presented a recap of projects completed this
year as well as looking at potential projects in 2018.
Since the start of
summer, Lindy and his team have worked on nearly 50 projects, including:
-- Roofing at
-- Renovating the
cafeteria at Liberty Intermediate and installing new playground equipment.
-- Replacing fire
panels at several school buildings.
sanitary service hook up at the Special Services Bus Barn to the Town of
relocating the Varsity and JV Baseball scoreboards at Chesterton High
-- Making upgrades
to the CMS natatorium.
The list of
projects for 2018 currently includes:
-- A new coat and
restriping of the running track at CHS, along with further repaving of the
parking lot and replacing the fire panel.
another science lab at CMS.
-- Adding air
conditioning in the gymnasium at Westchester Intermediate and remarking the
-- Switching the
art room at Bailly Elementary over to a new kindergarten classroom. The art
room will be moved to a new location.
-- An outdoor
classroom in the back of Brummitt Elementary in the space where an old home
near the school was torn down last year. The classroom could be built by the
CHS Building Trades class.
the main office entry at Jackson Elementary and improving the gymnasium.
-- Improvements to
the student drop-off area at Liberty Elementary by adding another driveway.
-- Adding air
conditioning to the gymnasium and replace playground equipment at Yost
-- Repairs for CHS
athletic fields (dugouts, storage areas) and resurfacing tennis court.
-- Roof repair at
Westchester and Liberty Intermediate schools.
-- Remodeling of
CMS main office.
-- Painting a
variety of classrooms and hallways.