School Board Gets Update on Retaining, Recruiting Staff

By Alex Mam

During the May 24 School Board meeting Superintendent Scott Laliberte gave the School Board an update regarding recruiting and retaining employees which was a big part of their previous meeting.
“I’m very grateful for all the feedback we got last Tuesday,” said Laliberte.
One of the biggest comments that was brought up during the meeting was the pay scale.
Laliberte said that the issue is that salary is a mandatory part of negotiations for collective bargaining units.
“A bulk of these adjustments are mandatory subjects of bargaining, and should be addressed within the process of negotiations,” said Laliberte. “We recommend that the Board form their bargaining committees well in advance of the start of negotiations and determine ahead of time what parameters are acceptable to the Board within the existing contract language and compensation schedule.”
Laliberte said that they are also planning on having a job fair in early August to help recruit new employees.
“This date is more compatible with the start of school, and convenient to applicants for hourly positions where the start date would be imminent,” said Laliberte.”This will include advanced promotion, and a structure that would allow for expedited hiring.”
It was explained by Laliberte that one of the other suggestions that was brought up to help recruit new employees is by advertising their job openings in the local newspaper.
“They have been doing that for some time,” said Laliberte.
Laliberte said that he spoke to Human Resources and they said that they stopped it because they thought they weren’t getting good results but said they would try it again. He said it would cost about $400 a week. He said that it would be something they monitor closely and would let the school board know how they are doing on results from it.
Laliberte said that a positive climate culture was brought up as being important during their previous meeting.
“We will include a district-wide goal that will focus on the advancement of a positive climate and culture within the staff for next school year,” said Laliberte. “This will be developed K-12 by the Administrative Team with input from the respective building staff.”
Laliberte said that the HR staff has also contacted the 55 and older communities. He said that they are in the process of putting together a presentation and brochures “that highlight opportunities for retirees to work within the schools.”
It was also noted by Laliberte that one of the suggestions that he has heard is opening a childcare center for staff members within the school district. He explained that it would be very appealing for some people who want to work in the school district.
He explained however that opening it in the district would be complicated and would need approvals from the state but said they would be looking into it.
“I think it’s worth diving into,” said Laliberte.
School Board member Scott Slater asked how often they are going to advertise in the newspaper for job openings.
Laliberte explained that their plan was to advertise each week.
Slater said that he thinks they could do every other week until they get new numbers for possible salaries, noting that their biggest issue is with their salaries.
Laliberte said that he plans on discussing more updates regarding the recruitment and retention of employees during the June 21 school board meeting.