At a special meeting held Thursday, Sept. 20, the board ratified a three-year agreement with collective bargaining unit AFSCME Local 1303, Council 4. The union approved the contract on Sept. 11.
The new agreement calls for a 6.84% wage increase over the course of three years. Year one, employees will get a 1.85% general wage increase with no step increases.
Year two there will be a 1.9% general wage increase plus a 0.64% step increase for a total 2.54% increase.
In year three, there will be a 2% general wage increase and a 0.45% step increase.
“It’s exactly the same as the teachers,” said school board member Richard Bochinski, chairman of the board’s negotiating committee. “It’s a fair and reasonable agreement,” he said.
Positions covered by AFSCME Local 1303 include instructional and non-instructional aides, security monitors, some administrative assistants, custodian/groundskeepers, technicians, computer technicians, evening cleaning supervisor, career center coordinator, library technician, registrar/technician at Weston High School, maintenance workers, electricians, utility system mechanics, nurses, occupational physical therapists, and an HVAC plant mechanic.
A key part of the agreement involves a savings for the district on health insurance benefits, Mr. Bochinski said. Non-certified employees will change over to Health Savings Accounts with higher deductibles. “The savings in health insurance over those three years [of the contract] will be a significant offset of the salary increase,” he said.
Another contract change increases the number of vacation days to 25 a year for 52-week employees who have worked for the schools for 20 years or more. Previously, employees who worked more than 15 years were given 20 days vacation. Mr. Bochinski said the change was made to bring it in line with the town hall union contract.
There was also a change in job title for secretaries. They will now be called “administrative assistants.” Mr. Bochinski said there is no salary adjustment for the name change and administrative assistant is the same designation used by central office for similar staff.
The contract takes effect July 1, 2012, and runs through June 30, 2015.