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Frazee man upset with negotiator pay, addresses board

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Frazee man upset with negotiator pay, addresses board
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

At the regular January meeting, the Frazee-Vergas School Board approved pay for the board's lead negotiator during the teacher contract negotiations.

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On Monday evening, during the citizen request period, Matt Bauer spoke about that pay and the work hours that went into it.

"At the Feb. 8 board meeting, I asked the board to rescind the lead negotiator compensation plan and mentioned that it is already being abused," he said.

The topic was up for discussion on that night's agenda but was deferred because board member Rich Zeigler wasn't present at the meeting.

Bauer spoke about the money that lead negotiator Dwight Cook was paid for his prep time, which was $30 an hour with a four-hour cap.

"This was not said to be retroactive nor does it state it in the minutes," he said.

"Those hours exceeded the max allowed," Bauer said Tuesday in an interview. "He requested and was paid for seven hours in one and four and a half for another. In addition to that, they were from 2009.

"Obviously, I have a problem with that, as do a few other people."

Monday night, Bauer read from a prepared letter, which he later handed out: Cook requested payment for 3 hours of prep time for Oct. 7 and 4.5 hours for Oct.. 18, for a total of 7.5 hours prep time for the FEA Negotiation meeting on Oct. 19.

He also requested payment for a total of 4 hours prep time for Oct. 19, 3 hours prep time for Nov. 15 for the FEA Negotiation meeting on Nov. 16. This is a total of 14.5 hours or $435.

Bauer said, "I find it ironic that the current disagreement with the FEA is for retro pay, but yet you feel you deserve it."

He added that it is Superintendent Deron Stender's responsibility to provide oversight, and said that he was disappointed in Cook's actions.

He asked that Cook repay about $450 or else the district take it from his board earnings.

"I'm trying to not be out of line, and handle it appropriately. It's a minor thing in the big picture, but it's the principle of it," Bauer said Tuesday.

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