Union contracts extended
By Jane Beathard
Negotiations between London City Schools and its unions ended recently with the district agreeing to restore some employee benefits conceded in last year’s budget cuts.
However, 3-percent across-the-board salary reductions remain in place.
On Tuesday, members of the board of education approved measures that essentially extended terms of contracts negotiated in 2011 with unions representing professional and support employees — minus base raises.
Those contracts will expire in 2014, according to Todd Boyd, vice president of the London Education Association (LEA). The LEA represents the district’s teachers, counselors and psychologists, while the local chapter of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) represents custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and similar support staff.
Members of both unions approved the contracts last week, Superintendent Tom Ben said.
All employees agreed to voluntary 3 percent pay cuts last year as the district faced mounting financial problems. Both unions also agreed to forgo bonuses for unused sick and personal leave. Teachers also lost partial financial reimbursement for enrolling in classes to advance their educations.
Agreements approved on Tuesday reinstated the bonuses and educational reimbursements, as well as “step” salary increases for employees working their way up in the school system.
Also on Tuesday, school board members recognized two students who achieved perfect scores on last year’s Ohio Academic Achievements in mathematics. Leila Oswalt answered all questions correctly on the fifth grade math test; Abby Homan did the same on the third grade test.
“They are two students we are going to label as ‘perfect’ in our eyes,” said London Elementary School Principal Carol Daniels.
Members also hired Susan Hayslip as district secretary for curriculum and student services. Hayslip received a 225-day contract at an annual salary of $32,742. Julie Griffith was hired as a half-time school psychologist for London Academy. Griffith’s one-year contract will pay $275 per day, not to exceed 110 days.
School board members also approved an overnight trip by members of the high school Future Farmers of America team to the organization’s national convention, set for Oct. 24-27 in Indianapolis.
Treasurer Kristine Blind announced a recent re-negotiation of employee health insurance will save the district about $120,000 during the next year. Other expenses are meeting projections and the district is set to end the 2012-13 school year in the black.