Assistant Managing Editor
Wapakoneta City Schools Board of Education members approved Tuesday a two-year contract between the school district and its classified staff.
The contract with the Wapakoneta Classified Association (WCA) is in effect from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2015, and implements seven changes from the previous contract. The district employs approximately 120 classified employees.
The contract was approved 4-to-0, with board member Ron Mertz abstaining, during Tuesday’s board meeting.
Superintendent Keith Horner thanked negotiation teams on both sides and described it as a “very positive experience.” “We appreciate their approach to negotiations and their understanding of our financial condition,” Horner said. “Whatever the issue, they worked with us on it and handled it professionally and civilly.
“All the changes were very good changes for both parties,” he said.
Board member Pat Gibson said negotiations were completed in an eight-hour day including a lunch break.
Board President Eric McKinniss explained the negotiations were done without any added expense or legal fees to the district.
The previous two-year contract expired on June 30. Negotiations were started and completed on June 12.
Attempts to reach Classified Association President Lori Huebner were unsuccessful.
Horner said while there was compromise on both sides, there weren’t a lot of issues to work out.
Changes in the contract include the following:
• Stipends are to be given to employees for each year of the contract. Part-time employees are to receive $75 and full-time employees $150. There are to be no salary adjustments and no step increases.
• New language involving the use of cameras and other technology for evaluation purposes was added. The language was modeled after a similar agreement with teachers, which indicates if there is an incident and the district becomes aware of it, administrators have two weeks to address it with the employee. If it is not addressed during that time, it cannot be used in the evaluation.
• If legislation permits, the board may reduce the minimum number of days, but the decision is not to be arbitrary or capricious.
• Insurance contributions for employees are to be 15 percent, up from 14 percent. The trigger point will stay at 9 percent for the first year of the contract and go to 6.5 percent the following year. Dental insurance stays at 14 percent the first year of the contract and goes up to 15 percent in the second contract year.
• The district is to pay up to $40 for required background checks on renewals, but will not pay for the initial background check required for employment.
• The Civil Service Commission will continue to be used for hiring, but food service positions less than four hours will be exempted.
• There was a change in the salary schedule for 12-month secretaries that was a correction from a past error.