Committee suggests 1% retention bonus for staff, encourages Board to develop plan to address pay inequities
CASTLE ROCK – A committee composed of teachers, support staff and school administrators presented its proposal for a staff retention bonus to the Douglas County School District Board of Education last week. The group suggested a 1 percent increase, with half going to all employees and the other half going to those who have been with the District since at least July 2011.
The committee, which is composed of 30 employees representing every employee group and geographic area of DCSD, was formed following the passage of a resolution by the Board of Education on September 20, 2016.
The resolution asked staff to explore viable options for a retention rider in order to address employee turnover issues and inequities between pay in DCSD and neighboring school districts.
“We know that when we lose a staff member we lose that institutional knowledge, we lose key skills that teacher or employee may have that drives us forward,” said Cimarron Middle School Principal Chris Zimmerman, who represented the committee during the January 17 board meeting. “We want to minimize the turnover.”
After a couple meetings, the committee was able to come to consensus on January 11 on the following recommendation, which Zimmerman presented to the Board.
Committee Recommendation to Board: Employee Retention Stipend
- Long-Term Plan to Address Competitive Pay
- $3 million Retention Stipend
- $1.5 million - Stipend to All Regular DCSD Employees (1/2% of individual employee’s salary)
- $1.5 million - Additional Stipend Distributed Equally to Employees Hired Prior to 7/1/2011 (same fixed dollar amount)
Zimmerman told the board that the committee felt that the 1 percent retention stipend wasn’t enough to keep employees, but combined with a longer-term plan to address funding inequities inside and with other districts, could be more persuasive.
At the end of the presentation, Board President Meghann Silverthorne thanked the committee for its work. She said that the Board would bring back a proposal in alignment with its recommendations and those made by Chief Financial Officer Bonnie Betz at a later date.