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Contract to save Huron district $485,000

Alissa Widman Neese • Sep 5, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Board members officially approved the two-year agreement Wednesday at a special meeting.

The contract was the only item discussed at the meeting, which kicked off with a 45-minute closed-door session to finalize the details.   

The new contract’s key points include:   

• 1 percent salary increases annually for the next two years.   

• Increasing an employee’s health insurance contributions to 5 percent in 2013-14 school year, 10 percent in 2014-15 school year year and 15 percent June 29, the day before the contract ends.   

Classified employees, those impacted by the agreement, include custodians, secretaries, educational aides, cafeteria workers, mechanics, maintenance workers and bus drivers.   

The new contract will likely save the district about $50,000 this year and more than $100,000 each following year, superintendent Dennis Muratori said.    “It was a team effort,” Muratori said. “(The union) really looked out for not only the best interest of its members but also the best interest of the district.”   

Huron Schools is projecting a deficit each year in its most recent five-year financial forecast, ranging from just over $1 million this past school year to about $5 million in the 2016-17 school year, making the agreement especially significant.   

The district’s budget is about $15 million. “All schools are facing tough times right now, and we’ve trying to make it work,” union president Nick Wells said. “We’re all in the same boat and we’re working together to try and keep it afloat.”   

Board president Scott Slocum also praised the cooperative nature of both parties. “The tone and the spirit of our labor relations is the best that it has been in 10 years,” Slocum said. “(They) sat down at the table and looked each other in the eyes and they really talked and listened. They all did a tremendous job.”

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