Support staff signs new contract

The Katonah-Lewisboro Support Staff Association (KLSSA) and school district have signed a two-year contract agreement, the only one of the district’s three unions to reach a deal ahead of the contracts’ expiration date of June 30.

The support staff, administrators, and teachers unions all have contracts set to expire on June 30.

The agreement, which is below, with the support staff runs from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2015.

Like the side agreement reached recently between the district and the teachers union, the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the support staff and the district includes a shift from the current self-insured health plan to the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP), a cost-cutting move for the district.

In a statement released after the agreement was passed by the school board at a meeting on Tuesday, June 25, the district said the health insurance change is expected to save the district $1 million annually.

The MOA also includes a salary freeze that will save approximately 0.75% of the total salaries paid to the support staff members.

“In this agreement the support staff has agreed to freeze step advancement for the next two years, so that is a significant concession,” said Michael Jumper, assistant superintendent for business.

In exchange, the agreement also includes a base salary increase of 1.75% for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years.

This increase comes after a year of salary freeze for all support staff, according to the district.

“The support staff worked with the district to negotiate a sustainable contract, a contract that can work within the New York state tax cap,” Mr. Jumper said. “That’s critically important.”

Professionalism

“This is a very responsible bargain,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Kreutzer. “It’s from a group that understands our financial situation, understands their employees benefit from this. They get it. And it was a very good bargain, very amicable, very professional.”

Board members, as well as representatives from Forward Together KLSD, the community group petitioning for cooperation between the district and its unions, thanked the support staff union and its president, Jeani Granelli, for its collaboration in negotiations.

“There’s stress involved with the fact that we were negotiating to spend a lot of money on our side, and from your point of view these are people’s livelihoods that you’re dealing with,” board President Mark Lipton said. “I don’t know how the issues could have been any bigger. You guys were wonderful from start to finish and I am so grateful. It was really a joy to go through this.”

In a statement, Ms. Granelli thanked the board for working collaboratively to settle the MOA on behalf of the support staff.

“The executive board of the KLSSA, as well as the membership, are pleased that we were able to come to equitable terms with the Katonah-Lewisboro school district,” she said. “During these economically trying times, it can be difficult to balance the financial resources of the school district with the needs of our membership. We thank the BOE for working collaboratively with us to settle this MOA.”

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  • Longtimer

    Any chance the Ledger will provide a link to view this contract?

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