School board OKs union contracts

Pay raises are on the way for Oxford school district employees, following the approval of two union contracts by the board of education at a June 27 meeting.

The district approved three-year agreements with both the Oxford Educational Support Personnel Association (OESPA) – which represents secretaries, paraprofessionals and technology specialists – and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Local 1472.

AFSCME represents bus drivers, monitors, mechanics and food service workers.

All OESPA and AFSCME workers will get a 3 percent raise on average each year throughout the same three-year span.

As a safeguard, for years two and three of each contract, there’s the option to reopen negotiations if there’s a decline in revenue or there are changes in enrollment and/or per pupil funding from the state, according to Latowski.

For both unions, there will also be changes to the health insurance plan benefits.

Cost sharing of health insurance premiums will increase for the district’s most affordable Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) health plan, which currently covers 80 percent of eligible employees, according to Latowski.

The two agreements followed another agreement, between the district and the Oxford Education Association (the teachers union), which includes step increases on the salary schedule from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020 for teachers who achieved an “effective” or “highly effective” rating.

“The district is fortunate to have dedicated staff members who work hard to give our students a wonderful educational experience. We are very pleased to be able to offer them fair compensation packages,” said Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Nancy Latowski. “They do great things for our students and we truly value their service and dedication.”

A total of 448 district employees will be affected between the OEA, OESPA and AFSCME agreements.

Based on current revenue, enrollment and projections, Latowski said the added costs to the district are “within reasonable limits” and district administrators have determined them to be “sustainable.”

 

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