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Published: Saturday, 3/8/2014 - Updated: 6 months ago

Bargaining begins with Sylvania teachers, support staff unions

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Two unions representing employees of the Sylvania School District have begun contract negotiations with the administration and school board.

The school board met this week in executive session to discuss labor negotiations with the Sylvania Educators Association and the Ohio Association of Public School Employees. School board president Jim Nusbaum confirmed that was the subject of the meeting, but declined to comment further on the discussion or on bargaining with the two unions. 

The Sylvania Educators Association, comprised of 518 members from teachers, guidance counselors, and librarians, began bargaining on Thursday, said president Perry Lefevre.

Although he declined to comment on the what benefits or goals the union sought, he said the union members “have not seen a pay raise in five years.”

In regards to the 3.8-mill operating levy sought by the administration from voters, he declined to say whether that would play into the bargaining as the talks could go beyond the May election.

The district is seeking an additional levy to cover a projected $1.4 million deficit in 2016.

The educators have a two-year contract which expires on June 30. Similarly, the Ohio Association of Public School Employees union has a two-year agreement which expires June 30. It opens bargaining next week.

That union represents the district's support staff members, including bus drivers, technology staff, maintenance employees, and custodians. It has about 340 members, said school spokesman Nancy Crandell.

For both unions, the last contract froze the base salary for the full term of the agreement, she said.

“The current base salary has been in place since Jan. 1, 2010," she wrote in an email. In the latest contract, health insurance costs were increased from a 6 percent employee contribution to 10 percent employee contribution.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso. 



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