Clintonville approves new pay schedule
Dellwood Childcare Center seeks more staff
By Bert Lehman
In an effort to increase the number of lead teacher applicants at Dellwood Childcare Center a new base pay schedule has been approved.
The schedule increases the base pay by at least $2 per hour.
The Clintonville School Board approved the new base pay schedule at its June 27 meeting, with an effective date of July 1.
Board member Laurie Vollrath abstained from the vote.
The base pay for an assistant teacher will be $12 per hour, an increase of $2 per hour.
The base pay for lead teachers will be broken down into three levels.
Those with a high school diploma will receive a base pay of $14.50 per hour, which is a $2.50 per hour increase.
Those who are certified or have more than nine associate credits will receive a base pay of $15 per hour, an increase of $2 per hour.
Someone who has received an associate’s degree will receive a base pay of $16 per hour, also a $2 per hour increase.
Superintendent Troy Kuhn ltold the board that certification and experience factor into the pay of employees of Dellwood Childcare Center.
“When you become a lead teacher, you are writing lessons, you are doing this, you are doing that, it’s not just play-time all day long,” Kuhn said.
When comparing compensation, Kuhn said lead teachers’ compensation should be comparable to a substitute teacher.
He added that Dellwood is currently fully staffed, but assistant teachers and lead teachers will be needed by September.
“We have a waiting list of about 60 kids,” Kuhn said.
Financial impact on district
Board member Chad Dobbe asked how the proposed base wages would impact the district financially, and if it is possible to increase the proposed base wages even more.
“As far as a lead teacher with an associate’s (degree), you’re making a lesson plan every day just like a schoolroom teacher is here,” Dobbe said. “It’s on a different level, yes, but, I mean, it should be close to sub teacher pay.”
Prior to discussing pay of Dellwood employees, the board had approved making Dellwood teachers employees of the Clintonville School District, making them eligible for health insurance benefits.
“This is base pay that you’re approving, so a lot of these people have base plus supplemental (pay),” Kuhn said.
Board member Kris Strauman also asked what the financial impact would be on the school district if the base wage changes were approved.
Lindsay Norder, business manager for the Clintonville School District, said she didn’t have an exact figure since she didn’t know where all the Dellwood employees would fall on the pay schedule.
“The health insurance is going to be huge. And how many employees are we talking (about)?” Strauman said.
Young staff at Dellwood
Norder said most of the Dellwood staff is under the age of 26.
“So, the majority of them are probably still on their parents’ plan,” Norder said. “Right now, that might not look like a great benefit to them because they probably don’t need it. But if they do stick around and need it down the road it’s going to be huge because I don’t think there are many daycares that offer any health insurance.”
Dellwood has around 10 employees.
Kuhn said his goal for approving changes to the Dellwood handbook and pay structure is to encourage people to apply for lead teacher positions at Dellwood.
“If not, I think we’re going to be hurting,” Kuhn said. “And I think the Clintonville community is going to be hurting because there’s people that need it (childcare).”
Strauman asked how many employees currently hold an associates degree, and was told “not many.”
Norder said if all the current employees at Dellwood received a $2 per hour raise and worked 40 hours a week, it would cost the district a little less than $40,000.
Board President Ben Huber pointed out that not all the employees work 40 hours each week.
Kuhn said Dellwood needs employees, pointing out that Dellwood currently does not have an assistant director.
Huber recommended that the board approve the new salary structure. He added that if the new salary structure doesn’t entice people to apply for lead teacher positions, the pay may need to be increased more.
“I think we have to at least start with this,” Huber said.
Board member Glen Drew Lundt also expressed concern that the new pay structure may not be a big enough increase.
Kuhn said if someone was interested in working at Dellwood, and they had an associates degree but also years of experience, they would start at a higher pay rate than the base pay rate.
“I think this is a good start,” Kuhn said.