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KPCW Local News Hour, May 13, 2022--At its meeting Thursday, the South Summit Board of Education approved a raise for all of its employees and absorbed a double digit increase in health insurance premiums. 

For his first year at the negotiating table, South Summit Superintendent of Schools Greg Maughn was able to offer his teachers, administrators, and school staff a decent cost of living increase with the district assuming all of the increases in health insurance premiums.

“We’re looking good,” Maughn said. “We had our negotiations and the board approved those – both our classified and certified. The overall package is about 8%. That covers, you know, things like steps lanes, it also increases a huge 21-ish percent increase in the cost of our health care and gives them a three and a half percent cost of living allowance.”

Even so, he says they won’t have to raise taxes.

“Mr. Robinson, our BA [Business Administrator] doesn't feel in fact, he reported to the Board last night, he doesn't believe that we need to necessarily do a truth in taxation right now. He doesn't anticipate the need yet - this year.”

The district offers health insurance to all full time staff members -and their families – at the bronze level. If an employee desires better coverage, that is an out of pocket cost.

Meanwhile, thanks to a multi-year contract with its staff members, the Park City School Board can focus its attention on the four large building projects expected to get started next month.

Park City District Business Administrator Todd Hauber says the school board approved a four-year employee contract in 2020, ensuring an annual cost of living increase and all step increases. Salary steps are increases based on experience.

“The budget that we're putting together for fiscal year 2023, will represent the third year of a four year contract for all employee groups in the Park City School District. So that was negotiated back to two and a half years ago. And at that time, we were anticipating two and a half percent COLAs [Cost of Living Adjustment] in all the program areas plus a step increase, which can represent anywhere from two and a half to three and a half percent increase on top of the COLA.”

At the time of the approval, School Board member Andrew Caplan said the contract will increase salaries by as much as 24% over the four years.

Because it’s a four-year agreement, Hauber says no new negotiation is needed this year, which can be helpful in the long run given how labor intensive negotiations can become.

The school board anticipates a truth in taxation hearing this August to pay for the salary increases as well as the $79 million that’s been added to the district’s debt service. That money is for expansion projects at the high school, Ecker Hill Middle School, as well as Jeremy Ranch and McPolin elementary schools. Those projects, Hauber said are expected to get started in mid-June.