Bargaining Notes May 11, 2022

The HSD/HEA Bargaining team met yesterday to continue our discussions. All team members were present. The notes are below. We will continue our negotiations next Wednesday, May 18, at 4:00 pm in the Lincoln Center Boardroom. Please let me know if you have any questions.


Negotiation Notes

5.11.22

Roll Call: Everyone present


Any change in where we are at? Anything to add?

Questions on COLA index- for Helena.

2 million to matrix to move over, some teachers received 0 percent raise to 20 percent. Stipends can also be a part of the adjustment.

No new hires can move to pcap lane, you can move from lane 8, but not the other way.

0 is not an option, offer 2.5 on base- across every cell in the district

retention adjustment to current contract 1.5 percent

Some staff have been frozen for years- 1 % on frozen pcap

Is 1 percent on the base? Yes- Steps 24 and 25


The 1.5 would not be on this year’s base- does not apply to the matrix. It depends on the cell “of the cell”

Next year will be the only year that someone will be on Step 25.

Over 40 staff on Step 24.

Money will taken from the interlocal.


Does the 1.5% go to TRS? Not sure, have not heard back, but other districts believe it will qualify. However, tied into extra duties tied into covid protocols.

Whether or not this will go toward TRS is important. Not sure of the timeline for the answer.

The 1.5% is a retention- “one-time money.” Not sure if it counts toward retirement.


The 1.5% portion is important- suggestion of adding it to the base for this current year.

Question regarding inflationary values from the state. Inflationary factors and the passing of levies does not mean budget grows. Student enrollment decrease. Passing the levies equates to around $7,000 increase for the year.


Discussion of ANB and average number of students over multiple years.

Option- 1.5 on this current year base, 2.5 on next year base (on every cell)

There would be a new matrix based upon the 1.5 for this year, and then 2.5 would be added to that.


Discussion from two meetings ago, not being able to take anything less than 4 percent to membership.

Pointing out separating 1.5% as well as the 2.5% from that.


There is a difference in adding 1.5 to base vs. adding 1.5 retention pay. Impacts staff differently, depending upon how soon they retire (not sure on status from TRS).

Original option:

4 percent for this year? Negotiations again next year. 2.5 goes on base, 1.5 retention- one-time money

New option:


Discussion on retention bonus- a percentage is different depending on years of service- vs. a flat fee of $1,000


Discussion of inflationary increases, levies, increase the general fund

96% of the budget is in salaries

How are other districts running with a lower % going to staffing?


Discussion on operational costs.

We are here to discuss teacher salaries.

Pay more people less, or, pay fewer people more?

Two schools left in the state with a ladder- PCAP equivalent.


Now have a matrix.

2.5 % on base, 1.5 % one-time fee

Helena matrix- has 25 steps, Missoula has 23- look to compress. Can get to higher levels in fewer steps in other districts.


Discussion of compressing steps- teachers vs. admin

World has changed from when other districts negotiated. Other districts may not have settled if such conditions existed.

2.5% is for ghost cells


Caucus break-


Membership is behind bargaining team- not interested in divisions

Take 1.5% on each cell- staying on the cell (current year), and then next year, 2.5% on each cell

This would be different from the 1.5% one-time pay

Elem. Budget- 3.5 million deficit, adding another 800,000 to that with this option


Discussion regarding admin pay- pcap vs. admin pay

Reputation of the Helena district


Caucus break-


Discussion of kids

New option:

2% one-time money, 2.5% on base for next year,

Discussion of one-time money perhaps not being an option

Remove one-time funds in favor of base %


Original option:

2.5 goes on base, 1.5 retention- one-time money

Another option:

Option- 1.5 on this current year base, 2.5 on next year base (on every cell)

Another option:

2% one-time money, 2.5% on base for next year,