Tallmadge -- The Tallmadge Board of Education and a labor union representing support staff throughout the school district, including custodians, maintenance, cooks, teachers aides and secretaries, have agreed on a new labor contract.
The School Board adopted the contract for the Service Employees International Union Local 1 F&O Division 100 on Sept. 18.
The contract, which is effective June 30, 2013, to June 29, 2016, calls for a 1.5 percent wage increase for 98 classified workers -- the majority of the support staff in the school district -- for each year of the contract, according to Superintendent Jeff Ferguson.
Union members also will be responsible for paying for a greater percentage of the total cost of their health care premiums, with their shares increasing from 10 percent to 12 percent. At 10 percent, union members pay $46.67 for single and $125.01 for family coverage per month, while at 12 percent, they'll pay $56 for single and $150.01 for family, according to Treasurer Jeff Hostetler.
He noted premiums will likely increase as of Jan. 1.
If Hostetler certifies that funds are available, the contract might be renewed for a fourth year.
"We were happy with the way negotiations went. We feel there's a good working relationship between [the union] and the Board ... ," Union spokesman Chuck Hayes said.
Ferguson said the possible fourth year of the contract, and the new agreement as a whole, is a "win-win opportunity" for the school district and the members of the labor union. Not only is the outcome of the negotiations a "responsible" solution for the school district, but it also recognizes the work the employees do on a daily basis, Ferguson said.
"So it really gives the district the ability to plan four years out and be able to look at the district's long-term stability," he said. "It also gives our employees the security to know for the next four years where they're heading for financial security for their families."
Teachers union expects new contract
The Board and Tallmadge Teachers Association could have a new contract this week, according to Ferguson. The Board scheduled a special meeting at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 1 at McComb's Education Center, 486 East Ave., to address the possible new contract.
Ferguson said the labor union voted last week to accept the new three-year contract that also provides a one-year extension, if Hostetler certifies funds are available.
Ferguson deferred comment about the new contract until after the Board votes on it.
The 160 or so members of the TTA -- all of the teachers and guidance counselors in the school district -- have been working without a contract since June 30 because of ongoing negotiations that center around the sticking point of "working conditions."
TTA President Jeff Moyer, a science teacher at the high school, said the general topic of "working conditions" excludes anything of a financial nature.
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