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Bargaining Update 3/23/22

The team met on Wednesday, 3/23/22, at the Lincoln Center Board Room, at 4:00. All team members were in attendance. The discussion began with an overview of Enrollment Projections, how those relate to ANB and the budget, and then an overview of General Fund Budget and Voting Limits. We then continued with a discussion of the budget and how various increases would effect the budget (see Notes). The team has access to the various scenario recaps that the district has put together. We will be studying these documents in preparation for our next meeting, Wednesday, April 6, 4:00, Lincoln Center Board Room.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,


March 23, 2022, 4:00 p.m.

Board Meeting Room, Helena Public Schools Central Admin Building

Meeting convened by Max, 16:05


Head Count Report Summary:

· Head count summary from 2002-2021 with projections through 2029.

· No population growth factors. Blue zone are numbers that reflect East Helena students that were in our system.


· Adjusted for part-time students.

· Took out shrinkage of about 2% for the HS from fall to spring as that is generally what we see.

· Converted these to ANB.

· Took out 22.25 FTE… and much more that the secretary-for-the-day did not record.

· Your highest budget without a vote cannot exceed your highest budget.

· Took out ESSR and temporary teachers.

Financial Methodology Discussion

· Assume a teacher will stay in a school and move down a step each year given the CBA – that is pretty easy to do.

· Identified ESSR employees (ie., coaches) who we count in ESSR for next year, but in the following year, those coaches go back into their respective (elem/hs) budgets.

· Retirees were replaced with someone of similar education at step 6.

· Cost out % running through the cells…

· What is the matrix? PCAP plus the steps and lanes… what about those in ghost cells?

Budget Discussion – General Fund without levies:

· Elem:

o Steps only, deficit of $3.308406 million for ’22-’23 (but we have ESSR funds)

o For ’23-’24, deficit is $4.961423 million

· HS:

o ’22-’23: $0.751814 million

o ’23-’24: $1.629348 million

· OVERALL: Close to $4 million deficit for next year.

o This comes down to $3.5 million roughly if the levies pass.

· 1% increase, no levies – difference in the deficit.

o Increases the deficit for both districts: $289,028

o Employee profile costs include: cost of health benefits

If there are no funds, what is the plan? We’re facing a negative balance and talking of raises?

Admin knows teachers are valuable. Some deficits facing us in the near future. Admin is not saying zero, but is looking at those deficits every day.

How are the other AA districts are doing things? How are they funding themselves through the cost of living adjustments. Talked about the ratios and how is trying to ascertain what other districts are doing and how they are funding their operations.

The facilitator asked for any other questions? We have a hard time processing in this room immediately and need time to digest the numbers.

Question regarding the $289k – that’s all an increase costs?

· Salary Costs

o This year salaries: $38,302,670.91 in salaries.

§ 13 interim teachers are gone.

§ 5 teachers on a LOA not included.

o Employees

§ TOTAL: 600 FTE

· 397.46 FTE ELEM

· 202.46 FTE HS

§ How it could be 600 FTE – we have more members than that. Those over 600 include Family Medical Leave absences, after 35 days, interim teachers, and temp teachers covering for coaches.

o HEA cost out… for a step:

§ $38.8 million.

§ 1% + step: $39.1 million.

§ So, per Admin, a 1% with a step on the general fund, is about $280,000, $350k overall.

Admin closing (addressing HEA question about to what degree HEA need to worry about solving the problem? Admin said people should think about how move forward. Nobody is covering cost of living increases. We know that. What can we do to move forward? We would like us to think creatively.

Next meeting is two weeks from now on Wed (April 6). Great ideas coming after the break.

HEA has the good-morning duty every morning. The housing crunch and how it is hitting teacher pocketbooks. There is red on the books, and that is important. Many teachers are feeling they aren’t important to the district when they don’t see their compensation being prioritized.

The facilitator pointed out we’re all in this together. We’re all getting hit hard.

If we look at what others were doing, we need to be cognizant of the fact that many negotiated prior to the current economic situation. Sure, Bozeman did 4% over two years, but inflation was not what it is now.

Final reminder for all that there are some who have been losing buying power for years, and that is in addition to the battle we’re having at this time.

Discussion of documents to share by all participants: the three documents we looked on in paper and the three re-caps.

Anything further before adjourning. Facilitator went around the horn – all good. Adjourned at 5:55 p.m.


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