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School Board Ratifies Unions’ Agreements

POSTED January 14, 2014 4:09 p.m.

The tentative agreements between the Oakdale Joint Unified School District and the Oakdale Teachers Association as well as the California School Employees Association #830 were ratified by the OJUSD Board of Trustees at the Jan. 13 regular meeting. OTA voted to ratify the tentative agreement on Dec. 16 and Dec. 17.

The OTA tentative agreement includes a 1.5 percent restoration on the salary schedule retroactive to July 1, 2013 plus one percent ongoing. Three scheduled furlough days for 2013-2014 were also removed. OTA will also receive a one-time bonus at two percent of their annual salary to be paid March 10. The fiscal impact on the 2013-2014 budget is $492,573 annually ongoing, plus $376,158 for the one-time bonus, for a total of $868,731.

The board also approved a provision in the OTA contract for an early retirement incentive, or “golden handshake,” for a CalSTRS (California State Teachers Retirement System) two-year additional service credit. The fiscal impact is yet to be determined.

During her report, OTA President Linda Kraus told the board that while OTA was pleased with the one percent raise, a large number of members were disappointed that the raises were not part of the salary schedule because that goes toward their retirement. She added that as president it was her obligation to tell the board that OTA members voted for the agreement so that their colleagues would be able to take advantage of golden handshake opportunities.

The CSEA chapter #830 tentative agreement also includes a 1.5 percent restoration on the salary schedule retroactive to July 1, 2013 plus one percent ongoing, the removal of three scheduled furlough days for this school year, and a two percent of annual salary one-time bonus. The fiscal impact on the 2013-2014 budget is $170,666 annually ongoing, plus $145,348 for the one-time bonus, for a total of $316,014.

OJUSD Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Terri Taylor later said that the district felt the agreements were fair and equitable to all parties and she praised several people on the district team and with the unions who were actively involved in the process of negotiations and noted that it was handled with class.

“We’re not always going to agree,” Taylor said. “We agree to disagree but we do it in a civil way.”

Additionally, the board approved the same increases in salary compensation as the bargaining units for certificated management, classified management, and confidential employees. The fiscal impact for the 1.5 percent restoration and one percent increase is $92,524 annually ongoing, plus $75,058 for the two percent one-time bonus of $167,582.

Further, Superintendent Marc Malone, stated that the district likes to honor all its employees in the same manner, as well as the board, and “strongly” recommended that the board approve the same deal for their compensation as the bargaining units. Trustee Mike House stated that when the board took the cut, as when the bargaining units did, the amount was minute and was really symbolic to show support. He added that to restore it is also symbolic to show that the district is healthy. The item was also passed. The financial impact will be an increase in each board member’s compensation each month by $8 and the cost of the one-time payment will be $84 including statutory benefits.

Near the start of the meeting in announcements, board president Diane Gilbert asked for a moment of silence for two people who made an impact on the school district. Mary “Linda” Morris, who retired in 2012 from Oakdale Junior High School as a Special Day Class aide after over 20 years in the district, died in an auto accident in Oakdale on Jan. 9. Oakdale Music Boosters President Dave Snyder passed away over the weekend after a short illness. Gilbert called him “a true champion” for the music program, the students, and the district.

In other business, the board accepted the district audit report. Dave Randall a partner with the district’s accounting firm gave an overview to the board.

“We believe the financial statements are fairly presented,” he said, adding that there were no audit adjustments and no findings this year.

Copies of the complete report are available at the district office.

Also in other business, the board adopted the 2013-2014 Strategic Plan Goals, which were presented by Superintendent Malone. He reported that the plan was “six months in the making” and that it is a bridging document for the next three years, as it covers Common Core implementation and facilities projects. He added that in 2017 the district should do a full-scale strategic plan.

The next regular meeting of the OJUSD Board of Trustees will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 3 at the OJUSD Technology and Staff Development Center, 331 Hinkley Ave., near Oakdale High School.

 

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