WHITE RIVER: district, union sign contract

The White River School Board approved a three-year contract with the district’s Public School Employees union during its Nov. 16 regular meeting.

“Given the relationships between bargaining groups and school districts, we feel very good about our accomplishments with our recent PSE bargaining agreement,” noted a statement released by the district at the meeting. “We improved clarity of contract language substantially and maintained financial accountability.”

In the first year of the contract, employees will receive the state insurance allocation based on prorated benefit full-time equivalents less 50 percent of the “retiree carve out” – or the money the district returns to the state to cover retirees. It was money the state first funded and then sought as a refund. The district has agreed to cover the amount, splitting it over two years. It was noted, currently 100 percent is deducted from the insurance allocation.

The 2011-12 portion of the agreement also highlights that all office personnel, technical, specialists, specialized paraeducators, instructional paraeducators and therapist assistants will recent a pay bump of 25 cents per hour if they possess an associate of arts degree or bachelor’s degree.

Child nutrition employees with school nutrition certification will receive a boost of 25 cents to 45 cents per hour.

Paraeducators who complete the PSE apprenticeship program will also receive a 25-cent an hour increase.

The two sides also agreed to 3 percent longevity increases after the 25th year and 30th year of service.

In 2012-13, the sides have agreed to a salary re-opener plus one additional opener for the district and one for PSE.

That same year, employees will receive the state insurance allocation with no retiree carve out.

The two sides also agreed to a re-opener for salaries in 2013-14.

In other business, the board:

• approved out-of-state travel for Pam Stern to attend Language! training in Dallas.

• set its next regular meeting for 6 p.m. Dec. 14.

• accepted a letter of resignation from child nutrition services worker Christine Phelps.

• hired bus driver Janae Iverson and teacher Joanna Marlow.