New School Year in Tempe Elementary Brings New Energy and Appreciation for Support from Voters

New School Year in Tempe Elementary Brings New Energy and   Appreciation for Support from Voters

Tempe, Arizona
Tempe Elementary employees are returning to work for the 2016-17 school year excited, reenergized and feeling more appreciated than ever!
Thanks to the passage of Proposition 123, Tempe Elementary School District was able to provide $4.6 million in additional employee compensation. With input from all employees, Tempe Elementary District staff and Tempe Elementary Education Association worked to provide a compensation package that honors and retains current employees and is helping to attract highly qualified employees. The Human Resource Department shared a market study with the TD3 Interest Based Negotiations (IBN) team, comparing salaries with East Valley districts. Based on the study, the team made a decision to increase starting salaries for certified employees in order to remain competitive, to help retain current employees, and to attract new employees. A market study of classified positions was conducted and implemented earlier in the year, aligning classified employees’ salaries with the market.

Teachers’ starting salary increased from $34,743 to $38,000. All returning teachers received an additional $3,257 plus a one percent raise which averaged a 6-10% raise for every returning teacher.

“The benefits of Prop 123 allow us to continue to teach in a competitive paying district, using innovative techniques in an inviting and safe learning environment,” said Carrie Viers, seventh-grade English language arts teacher at Tempe Academy of International Studies.

Additional increases include:

• The Counselor salary schedule increased by $650. All returning counselors received $650 plus a one percent raise.

• The Psychologist salary schedule base increased by $914. All returning Psychologists received $914 plus a one percent raise.

• The Social Services salary schedule base increased by $3,036. All returning staff paid on this salary schedule received $3,036 plus one percent raise.

• The Health Services salary schedule base increased by $4,422.50. All returning Health Services staff received $4,422.50 plus a one percent raise.

• Administrators, Classified Staff, and Specialists received a two percent raise.

“By increasing nurses’ pay, it has allowed our school district to be competitive in attracting and retaining nurses,” said Pat Thornton, school nurse at Laird School.

All returning employees who have worked for the District for at least one year, also received a two percent stipend using the one-time Prop 123 carryover money from FY15-16. In addition to the $4.6 million, a one-time amount of $900,000 was allocated to capital funds for critical maintenance projects.

Tempe Elementary District has used this collaborative process for many years. Combining this highly effective process with the infusion of Prop 123 funds, many dreams are now becoming a reality for teachers and employees. The agreement was voted on by all Tempe Elementary District staff and was approved by the TD3 Governing Board.

“As an educator I feel valued by our community. We are excited to see the positive results of our joint work,” said Liz Leivas, Co-President of TEEA and Educational Technology Coach for the District.

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