Approval of a $77,150 contract to hire a national organization to help the Waukesha School District design a compensation and benefits package for teachers has been delayed until next month, although the district remains committed to project.
For $77,150, the work is focusing on two areas, according to the district:
- Engaging stakeholders to design a compensation model for teachers informed by comprehensive market analysis
- Developing a customized, cafeteria-style benefits package for teachers.
Battelle for Kids, a not-for-profit-organization, would help the district develop a comprehensive compensation and benefits for teachers after meeting with district stakeholders, according to Christine Hedstrom, assistant superintendent for human resources.
The school board’s human resources committee tabled approval of the contract until next month because not all committee members received information about it.
Hedstrom said she and others are in the midst of work on the project, based on getting the go-ahead from the board in July and despite the delay in approving the contract.
Two school board members voiced concerns about the idea, Ellen Langill and Barbara Brzenk, both citing concerns about the cost. Brzenk said that she was glad the board was not voting on it last night because she would have a lot of questions about it.
This fall, for the first part of the project, the organization has meeting with a compensation design team comprised of school administrators, teachers and EAW leaders, according to the Hedstrom.
One of the values of working with Battelle is the advice the district is receiving. Everyone on the design team has access to six online courses about strategic compensation and what that looks like in other districts and its impact has from one district to another, Hedstrom said.
Another benefit is the Battelle facilitator who is a neutral party committed to working with stakeholders, ensuring there is buy-in from all, she said.
“Because they know that if there isn’t agreement, it’s not going to be successful,” Hedstrom said.
“I’m going to tell you – it’s hard work. Because there’s fear out there.… But I think the end result will be wonderful and exciting and worth it,” Hedstrom said.
She also said that the board will be making the final decisions about any changes for teacher compensation and benefits.
“We as a team are making the recommendations and the board is the decision maker,” she said.
The contract will be on next month's agenda.