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SRCS, support staff union agree to contract; Four-year deal is retroactive to 2013-14 fiscal year

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FORT COVINGTON –– The Salmon River Central School District Board of Education on Monday approved a new four-year collective bargaining agreement with Civil Service Employees Association unit that represents the district’s support staff.

The union, which represents 154 bus drivers, maintenance staff, teachers aids, clerical staff and food service workers, had previously approved the contract, School Business Executive Natascha Jock said.

The pact gives the employees a 2.25 percent salary increase for the 2013-14 fiscal year and an increase of 3.23 percent for each of the other three years of the agreement, according to SRC Superintendent Jane Collins.

The previous contract expired June 30, 2013. The contract that was approved on Monday includes the 2013-2014 school year and runs through 2017.

Ms. Jock said ithe delay in reaching an agreement was in part the result of protracted negotiations and in part because of the union’s lack of a labor relations director, who normally does all of the negotiating for the bargaining unit. The prior director had left and it took time for the union to find a replacement, she said.

The agreement also calls for union members to pay 1 percent on their health insurance premiums in 2014-15, 1.25 percent in 2015-16 and 1.5 percent in 2016-17, Ms. Collins said.

Union members who switch from the district’s Classic Blue health plan to a preferred provider plan will will receive incentive pay to do so, she added.

The costs of the new contract were figured into the district budget that was approved by voters on May 20, Ms. Jock said.

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