RUMFORD – The Western Foothills School District board took a couple more steps toward establishing pay equity among employees Tuesday night when it approved salaries and contracts for central office, Dirigo custodians and other personnel.

It also approved a three-year contract for the superintendent.

The newly established district, which begins official operations July 1, comprises SAD 21 in Dixfield, SAD 43 in Rumford, and SAD 39 in Buckfield. The goal by 2011 is to bring the various bargaining units from the three districts under one salary and benefit scale.

On Tuesday, the 17 SAD 21 custodians/bus drivers were brought into the agreement with their counterparts in SAD 43. The three-year contract goes from July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2012. Salary increases will be 3 percent the first year, then 2.5 percent for each for the second and third years.

The eight computer technicians serving in the Foothills district, also known as Regional School Unit 10, were granted a one-year contract with a 3 percent salary hike. Also brought under one contract were the 19 central office staff and another contract for the19 administrators.

Superintendent Tom Ward, who had served as SAD 21’s leader for six years, was granted a three-year contract. His former salary of $95,790 was boosted to $115,000, a sum that will remain the same for the first two years, then be subject to negotiation the third year.

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The board had previously brought the SAD 39 teachers up to the salary scale of SAD 21 teachers. By 2011, all teachers will be under the same contract.

In other financial matters, the board approved borrowing a revenue anticipation note of up to $2.6 million at 2.6 percent interest from Northeast Bank.

The note is needed because the new district has no carryover funds

“We may skim along and be OK, but we may need it to make payroll,” Ward said.

He added that he doesn’t expect RSU 10 to need the entire amount.

All salary adjustments and interest on the revenue anticipation note are included in the adopted budget of $34.1 million.

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In other matters, the board approved hiring two recent University of Maine at Farmington graduates for mathematics positions at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.

Hired were Katie Killam of Livermore Falls and Sarah Trexler of Greene.

The board set only one meeting for July. That will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 13, at Dirigo High School.

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