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GHAPS approves wage freezes, contracts

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Administrators, directors and non-association staff have agreed to a one-year contract renewal that includes a pay freeze and paying 20 percent of their health care benefits.

The contract was set to expire June 30. It impacts building principals, district directors and non-association staff such as paraprofessionals, classroom aides and playground assistants.

The school board also approved a three-year contract renewal for Superintendent Keith Konarska and a two-year contract renewal for Assistant Superintendent of Human Services Scott Grimes. Konarska’s salary will be frozen for the first two years of the contract, and Grimes’ salary will be frozen for the first year.

Konarska said he and Grimes have donated back any compensation increases provided by the school board.

Grimes said it would be difficult to determine the savings because increased costs weren’t factored into the calculations of the contract renewals.

About 56 percent of the district’s overall 2014-15 budget is allocated for wages. That amounts to about $34.5 million. Administrators, directors and non-union wages account for about 11 percent of the district’s salaries, and Konarska and Grimes’ wages together account for less than 1 percent.

Konarska said the district’s staff has played a part in allowing the school system to keep programs intact as they receive less state funding.

“If not for these types of sacrifices, our programs for students would have suffered tremendously,” he said.

Gov. Rick Snyder recently approved the state’s $15.8 billion education budget, which includes a funding increase for early education programs, colleges and K-12 funding. Still, Grand Haven schools will see a net decrease of $9 per student.

Read the complete story in Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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