Clint Dansie came to the last Nebo School Board meeting prepared with reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic.
The Nebo Education Association president read a carefully written statement, complete with figures, on why district teachers deserved more money and benefits."We must provide our students with, and maintain, well-qualified teachers," Dansie said. "But how does a teacher stay motivated when continually submitted to all kinds of undue stress and unfair pay practices?"
Dansie said until a few years ago, district teachers and administrators had the same annual base pay - $15,317. "Because of the lack of funds, we are told," teachers' base pay remained the same while administrators' base pay was raised to $16,902, he said.
"If both a teacher and administrator have 12 years experience and a master's degree, the difference in base salary is $2,853," Dansie said. "Why the discrimination in salaries?"
When Dansie said administrators and teachers should be paid equally, board president Collin Allan asked, "Are we equal?" Dansie answered, "Not in this district." The issue of differing duties was not otherwise raised.
Dansie said new life insurance chosen by the district has decreased benefits to teachers on the lower end of the pay scale, and has defined such payments as taxable.
"It discriminates against the lower-income employees and violates the intent of the non-discriminatory section of the fair practices code of the Internal Revenue Service. In addition, in some cases, it could cancel Social Security benefits for a year or so.
"From my point of view, this is a totally deplorable situation to place upon someone who may be counting on a death benefit in a great time of need only to find it evaporate when most needed."
Dansie also asked the board to grant teachers a number of paid holidays and vacation days relative to that given a 12-month employee. If a 12-month employee contracts for 260 days and gets up to 22 paid vacation days and 13 paid holidays, a teacher who contracts for 190 days should get a comparable 19 paid vacation days and 11 paid holidays, he said.
All other items of concern would come up at the proper contract-negotiation time, Dansie said.
"We are here tonight to let you know in advance, so budgets can be prepared with some teacher priorities, what we will be asking for and expecting to receive in terms of dollars."
He urged board members to "do the utmost in your power to remedy these problems." About 15 teachers in the audience stood and cheered at the conclusion of Dansie's presentation.
Allan said that perhaps the entire argument should have been saved for negotiations rather than bringing it to a board meeting where nothing could be resolved.