MENOMINEE - Ken Pulver admits an impasse on teacher's salaries and class size limits affects faculty and nearly everyone on the Menominee Area Public Schools Board of Education.

"We need to take the hard actions to keep this district viable," he said Thursday during a board meeting.

Pulver, board president, said the district will have a deficit of about $54,000 at the end of the school year.

Implementing the impasse, which resulted from the failure to reach a contract, would provide the district with about a $4,000 surplus in the 2014-'15 budget but still leave the district with a $50,000 deficit, he said.

Superintendent Mike Cattani said the district has "fantastic, hard-working teachers" who care about their students, but this is something the board had to do.

The board voted 4-0 to approve the impasse resolution. Pulver, treasurer Ruby Ivens and secretary Marye Mathieu abstained from voting because they have spouses or children working in the district.

Under the resolution, the board:
n Institutes a 5 percent reduction in teachers' salaries effective Nov. 1 and continuing thereafter until subject to negotiation.

Delays the new salary schedule for teachers so step increases wouldn't be paid in the 2013-'14 school year.

Declares an impasse on the new salary schedule for teachers hired after June 30, 2012, which should be amended for teachers hired after Nov. 1.

Declares an impasse on class size limits and eliminates all reference to class-size limits which also eliminates a remedy language letter of agreement.

Declares an impasse on eliminating letters of agreement on two pages of the master agreement.

Will contribute $15,000 toward health insurance for a full family, $11,000 for two people and $5,500 for a single subscriber, effective Nov. 1.

Recognizes its obligation to continue bargaining in good faith with the Menominee City District Education Association through the parties' respective bargaining terms toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

Nearly 75 concerned residents, teachers and students packed the Blesch Intermediate School Library during the board meeting. Many spoke during the public comment segment and others held up signs protesting cuts to teacher salaries and eliminating class-size limits.

Twelve to 15 teachers picketed in front of the administration offices Thursday morning.