HOWELL, Mich. - Howell Public Schools teachers have requested a 1.5 percent pay hike in the latest round of contract negotiations, while the district wants a 1 percent payback, the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus reported.

Howell Education Association President Jay McDowell described the request as "modest," saying it would cost the district about $475,000 and that teachers have volunteered to put 30 percent of that amount into a student scholarship fund, the Press & Argus reported.

Interim Superintendent Lynn Parrish described the request as "not at all modest," the Press & Argus reported, and pointed out that other employees have given concessions.

Either proposal would leave step increases — given automatically to teachers for years of work or earning advanced degrees — in place, Parrish told the Press & Argus.

Each side told the Press & Argus that it wants taxpayers to be aware of what's being offered. McDowell said that the union released information about its proposal because "the taxpayers deserve some transparency about what has been proposed."

Two weeks ago, the district suggested releasing details on each side's "bottom line" as of August, but at that point the HEA declined, Parrish told the Press & Argus. McDowell said that parts of those earlier proposals are no longer under discussion, but Parrish said the public still would be interested in knowing what each side offered.

Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, "Union seeking pay bump from Howell schools," Sept. 30, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Billions Served," Sept. 24, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Michigan School Databases, "Master Agreement between Howell Board of Education and Howell Education Association, 2006-2009."