St. John coaches may get pay raise

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 8, 1998

By Rebecca Burk / L’Observateur / April 8, 1998

RESERVE – Athletic coaches at St. John the Baptist Parish schools haven’tgotten a raise in 13 years, but that may change soon.

The personnel committee is almost finished working out the kinks of a proposal requesting that coaches be paid their supplement in percentage form instead of a set lump sum.

If the school board decides to go with the percentage method it would boost the pay of the coaches – some by as little as $10 and others by as much as $1,500 – and cost the board $33,000 more a year, Nathan Stein, executive manager of finance, said.

The coaching staff is now paid a lump sum depending on how many years they have been at the job, whereas the percentage method would pay a percentage of their salary. That means if salaries increase, supplementswill increase as well, but the percentages will continue to stay the same.

Athletic directors would get a 14 percent supplement if they coached over 1,000 students and 13 percent if they coached less than 1,000.

Head coaches of a major sport would get an extra 7 percent, and minor sport head coaches and ninth grade head coaches would get a 5 percent supplement. Assistant coaches of a major sport would get a 5 percentsupplement and minor sport assistant coaches would get 4 percent.

Major sports include football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball and track. Minor sports are golf, cross country, tennis,gymnastics, soccer and wrestling.

Junior high head coaches are paid $400 a sport now, and with the percentage supplement they would also see a raise. Junior high headcoaches would get a 4 percent supplement, and assistant coaches would get a 3 percent supplement.

But every coach in the parish has a maximum percentage they can reach before their percentage is no longer boosted in case they coach several sports.

Athletic directors who coach over 1,000 students can’t exceed 29 percent, and those who coach under 1,000 students can’t get more than 28 percent.

High school coaches can’t get more than 16 percent, and junior high coaches can’t exceed 10 percent.

Three percent is added to supplements of head coaches of major sports if they attend summer football camp and training, and 1 percent is tacked on if head coaches of minor sports, ninth-grade coaches and assistant coaches of major sports attend these camps and training sessions.

The percentages were decided upon by looking at other parishes, Stein said. They mostly modeled their plan from St. Tammany Parish.But committee member James Madere said he wants to see more information on how the percentages were concluded before presenting anything to the board.

Stein said he would present that information at the next personnel committee meeting, April 20 at 5:30 p.m.Barbara Knight, chief negotiator of the union contract, was upset by the sudden availability of funds to possibly give the coaches a raise. She saidduring contract negotiations requests by the union for teacher raises were refused by the board negotiators, saying they didn’t have the money.

“Four and a half months ago we didn’t have enough money to get a raise,” she said. “That means coaches, too. We always try to get the most for ouremployees, and that also means coaches. I am very upset that now we havethe money to give coaches a raise.”Alfred Donaldson, personnel director, said the coaches weren’t getting a raise. “We’re trying to do something that’s logical,” he said. “You can callit a raise, but we call it a supplemental adjustment.”Knight said she’s in favor of the coaches getting a raise but believes the school board and administration are not honoring the union contract.

“I know the coaches work long and hard hours,” she said. “It’s just themethod the board is taking. They aren’t honoring the contract becauseeveryone needs to be considered. A single groups is being singled out, andthat’s not fair to the other employees who work diligently.”The committee also discussed the number of coaching positions in the parish. There are 29 positions on the west bank and 34 on the east bank.The committee requested that the east bank number be cut to 30. LouValdin, athletic director at East St. John High, said that is no problem.

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