The Brainerd School Board Monday ratified its 2011-13 contract agreements with its food service staff and its educational assistants.
While the board unanimously ratified the food service union contract the vote was split 4 to 2, with board members Chris Robinson and Kent Montgomery opposed, on ratifying the educational assistant contract.
Both union groups and the district agreed to no salary increases for the current school year and a 2 percent salary increase for the 2012-13 school year, said Steve Lund, director of business services. Food service staff have a total salary schedule cost of $637,561. The wage increase in the second year of the contract represents a cost increase of about $12,751.
Educational assistants have a total salary schedule cost of $4,124,874. The wage increase in the second year of the contract represents a cost increase of about $82,498.
Both union groups also accepted health insurance changes, similar to what the district’s teachers’ union agreed to last month, which increases both the deductible and out of pocket maximums and includes increases to prescription co-payments.
The changes mean the district will transfer health costs of about $10,500 back to food service staff and about $94,650 back to educational assistants in premium increases for an indirect savings to both the district and its employees, Lund said. Lund said both groups had one personal day that came from their accrued sick leave. The district has set as an objective to establish that the use of sick leave be left for its intended purpose. As a result, both union groups and the district agreed to an additional personal leave day for a total of two per year without using accrued sick leave. The personal leave can’t accrue beyond three per year.
Both union groups also accepted an additional step in their 403B employee retirement contribution schedule. Lund said both union groups have the same six paid holidays during the school year: Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, Good Friday and Memorial Day. Food service staff also have Christmas Eve Day and New Year’s Day as paid holidays. Lund said as part of the agreement, educational assistants would receive Christmas Eve Day as an additional paid holiday. Board member Chris Robinson told board members he would vote in opposition of the educational assistant contract agreement because of the added paid holiday. Board member Kent Montgomery said he, too, would be opposed to the contract agreement because of the additional paid holiday.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.