2015-02-13 / In the News

School Board approves contract

After two years of negotiations, custodians and food service workers in the Scarborough schools finally have an updated contact. More negotiation, however, is coming.

The Board of Education approved a contract for the two groups through June 30.

Jackie Perry, chairman of the Board of Education’s Negotiations Committee, said since the previous contract expired July 1, 2012, the committee has been working with Scarborough Education Association, the employees bargaining unit, to update the contract. After months of back and forth and an impasse on any sort of agreement, an arbiter was called in to settle the issue. The board decided not to pursue litigation, a timeconsuming and expensive process.

“We have accepted the arbitration panel’s recommendation. The contract is for this year. It will end June 30. During that time, the custodians will remain on the step they are currently on,” Perry said at the board’s Feb. 5 meeting. “The food service workers will receive a .75 increase on the current step, but won’t move up a step. We have started negotiating on a subsequent contract.”

One of the issues of the negotiation has been the Board of Education’s desire to look into outsourcing the work to save $250,000. The arbitration panel, Perry said, did not agree with the school district’s position, opining that a “school district should not be able to contract services to save money.”

The board’s interest in doing so, she said, was to “put more money in the classroom.”

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