Columbia Public Schools discusses salary schedules

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COLUMBIA - While in the midst of a collective bargaining process, the Columbia Public Schools Finance Committee discussed its current salary schedule for staff and faculty.

Members look at how employee experience determines how much their wages increase over time, and if the budget allows for appropriate raises.

According to Columbia Public Schools Chief Financial Officer, Linda Quinley it would cost the district "$4 million to stay the same, $2.5 million would go to salaries and the rest would go to employee benefits".

In the meeting, members suggested looking at other comparable school districts' pay schedules to compare with Columbia's current status.

Salary schedules are just one of several topics the school district is negotiating.

Part of the collective bargaining proposals made by the Columbia Missouri National Education Association include:

*A restoration of pay from a freeze within the salary schedule

*A minimum of 250 minutes of uninterrupted planning time a week

*Two teacher work days before the start of the academic school year

CMNEA President Susan McClintic said the current salary schedule freeze does not allow teachers to earn more based on their years of experience.

The next collective bargaining meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 5 at the adminstrative offices, and is open to the public.