One-year deal, no raises for Whitehall City Schools' classified employees

KEVIN CORVO
kcorvo@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

Whitehall City Schools' classified employees have a new one-year contract after members of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees Local No. 297 gave their nod to the pact June 17.

The Whitehall school board previously approved its end of the contract with the association June 11.

The association represents the district's 115 classified employees.

Those employees include cooks, bus drivers, clerical staff and other nonclassroom personnel, said Ty Debevoise, director of marketing and communications for Whitehall schools.

Certified staffers, including teachers, are part of a separate collective-bargaining agreement with the Whitehall Education Association, Debevoise said.

The membership approved the contract June 17, said Keith Stiverson, a district employee who represented the association in the collective-bargaining negotiations with the district.

The contract is effective from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, Debevoise said.

It does not provide a salary increase for the one-year period, he said.

According to the contract, the 2019-20 salary schedule will remain in effect for the 2020-21 school year.

The contract previously had provided 1.5% salary increases each of the past three years.

While the new contract does not provide raises, it does stipulate that bargaining-unit members will be placed on the appropriate step based on their experience.

The contract also provided an increase in the district's contribution to employee health-savings accounts from $400 to $450 for singles, $600 to $700 for singles-plus-one, and from $900 to $1,000 for family plans.

"We are pleased to approve this one-year contract with OAPSE for the 2020-21 school year," said Whitehall Deputy Superintendent Mark Trace.

Stiverson has been president of the Ohio Association of Public School Employee Local No. 297 for 10 years and acknowledged the budget deficit the district faces stemming from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

"However, with all that being said, we and the administration did the best we could with the circumstances to reach a fair deal for both parties for the upcoming year," Stiverson said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo