New support staff contract approved

The support staff and the school board have agreed upon a new contract.

The new, three-year contract was unanimously approved at Monday night’s special meeting of the board.

The Warren County Education Support Professionals Association represents aides, secretaries, cafeteria workers, custodians, and maintenance employees.

The agreement is retroactive to June 31, 2019 — the date the previous contract expired — and includes 2 percent annual raises. The terms of the old agreement remained in place through the negotiations.

According to a board release, the previous contract included increased co-pays in the health insurance plan to “help find cost savings that, in turn, were used to pay for the raises that were given at that time. Due to the fact that some other employee groups have copayments that still have not caught up to those in this support contract, the district agreed to maintain the current support staff insurance plan through the end of this agreement.”

“That guarantee is made feasible in part because the parties agreed to affordable wage increases of 2 percent per year,” according to the board release. “The board entered the process desiring to find a fair compromise, though very aware of the district’s economic constraints like the skyrocketing cost of pension benefits and the lack of substantial increases in state subsidy. Striking a balance on issues like wages and health insurance made it possible to reach this deal.”

“We are really happy that the process went so smoothly and that the parties were able to reach a deal relatively quickly,” Board President Donna Zariczny said. “We know both parties had their priorities, but we think the association leaders would agree that our great open dialogue allowed us to find some common ground.”

The board and the Warren County Education Association — the teacher union — are currently in negotiations.


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