Support employees agree to pay cuts
By Jane Beathard
In a move that was not unexpected, London City Schools’ support staff agreed to a 3 percent pay cut this week.
On Friday, board of education members approved a re-negotiated contract with the Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) that matched the district’s new contract with its professional staff.
Under the contract, cafeteria and maintenance workers, secretaries, classroom aides and custodians agreed to take a 3 percent pay cut for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Bus drivers were spared the reduction since a new transportation plan and busing routes shaved hours off their former workdays.
In addition, the new OAPSE contract reduces healthcare insurance benefits from May to October this year and forgoes incentives paid for unused sick leave.
Superintendent Steve Allen told board members the pay cut runs until June 30, 2012, and the district will re-negotiate the OAPSE contract early next year. He hopes to extend the salary reductions two additional years.
“We’ll open negotiations strictly for finances early next year,” Allen said.
Local OAPSE members approved the new contract in a 23 to 16 vote on Thursday. Allen said negotiations were amicable.
“It was very conciliatory,” Allen said. “We have good people.”
Like the re-negotiated contract with London’s professional union, the new OAPSE contract aims to help the district plug an estimated $3.5 million budget deficit in 2012.
Allen said reduced health insurance benefits will save the district $120,000 in coming months. Eliminating the sick leave incentive for OAPSE members will save another $32,000.
Board member Martha Geib, M.D., asked about reducing the daily pay for substitute teachers and support workers. The district currently pays substitute teachers $85 to $95 per day.
Allen said interim treasurer Shirley Dodge will analyze savings associated with paying substitutes less and report at an upcoming meeting.