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Teacher's union seeks 5 percent pay increase

Cade Luinstia of West Des Moines tries to escape the hold of Humboldt’s D.J. Muier during the annual Gotch Wrestling Tournament held at Humboldt High School on Sunday. It was quite a wrestling weekend for the Cats, the varsity wrestling team captured the conference championship on Saturday, placing in 13 of 14 weight classes. Reed Dreyer was the winner at 195 pounds, with Kylie Zender, Austen Gargano and Jacob Miller earning runner-up finishes. Humboldt Independent photo.

The Humboldt Education Association presented its master contract proposal to the Humboldt School Board Monday night.
The HEA is asking for a 5 percent salary increase, moving the base pay to $31,698. The increase doesn’t include any possible increase in the district-provided health insurance program.
Among other items in the initial proposal include the addition of two salary schedule lanes and changes to the longevity pay scale. The proposal also asks for increased pay for coaching positions.
“We have looked at the current economic conditions and the continuing strong financial position of the school district,” HEA spokesperson Brenda Rush said.
“The last several years the district has maintained an extremely strong financial condition. Our solvency ratio is about twice the recommended amount,” Rush said. “The district’s unspent cash balance continues to increase. We have seen an increase in enrollment but not a corresponding increase in staff.”
The board agreed to continue negotiations with the HEA on Monday, Jan. 28, 4:15 p.m. in the school district central office.
In personnel moves, the board accepted the resignation of board member Jennifer Berte. Berte has served on the board for seven years and held director district No. 2. The board will be seeking a replacement immediately.
For more news on the Humboldt School Board, pick up a copy of this week's Humboldt Independent, or read the full issue online.