Employee contracts get overwhelming stamp of approval

With 2018 coming to an end, some of the contracts made between Oxford Schools and its employees were up for renewal.

David Pass, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources, was happy to inform the board of education at its Dec. 18 meeting that all of the renewed contracts were able to be extended a year in their duration and were received with overwhelming approval from the district’s employees, with all four collectively garnering just five “no” votes from union members. The contacts were also passed unanimously by the board.

“It’s great to be able to do some great things for these employees and certainly it’s the byproduct of the great work that this board is doing… (These employees) are a great group of people and I’m glad we were able to put out these contracts,” Pass said.

When board members noted that the dates of the contracts vary, Pass said the dates of the contract keep in pace with each contract’s past terms of duration, which is why they vary by a few months.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1472

Between the district and some employees including bus drivers and cafeteria workers, the new contract that will last from Sept. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2022, is in place to foster a positive relationship between the district and the AFSCME, a union, that will establish “a proper service to the community.”

Notable aspects of the contract are the no strike clause, ensuring union employees with not strike during the duration of the contact; the openness for employees to join the union; the employee benefits package and the inability for the district to replace an employee with a substitute permanently.

Oxford Administrators Association

Running from Aug. 1, 2019 through July 31, 2022, this contract is between the district and its principals, assistant principals and other people in director roles.

The contract enables directors to meet with a disgruntled stakeholder before that person brings any complaints to the board of education, the district to create or extend a period of probation for an administrator, an agreement to keep the same educational and curriculum practices throughout the district and an annual evaluation for administrators among other things.

Oxford Education Association (OEA)

The OEA consists of teachers, counselors, librarians, social workers and the like. The association’s new contract will run from Sept. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2022.

Notable aspects of the contract include employees’ right to organize and have representatives in each school building, limited use of full-time employees as substitute teachers, the mentoring of young or new teachers, a reasonable class size and the ability for teachers to attend professional conferences that may take place during the school year.

Oxford Educational Support Personnel Association (OESPA)

In effect through July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2022, this contract is between full and part-time employees like secretaries, paraprofessionals and technology specialists.

The contract includes the requirement of an association representative in every school building, the right to be active in politics, a yearly meeting between the association and the district, employee benefits and a no strike clause saying the employees will not organize a strike throughout the duration of the contract.

Several of the board members expressed happiness with the contracts, feeling every party was served well through Pass’ efforts.

“That speak volumes about the district and our teachers and the staff,” board Treasurer Jenny Guthrie said of the mass approval of the contacts.