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Board Ratifies Agreement
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The tentative successor agreement between the Oakdale Teachers Association and the Oakdale Joint Unified School District was ratified by the district’s Board of Trustees at the Feb. 28 regular meeting. The teachers agreed to a 2.5 percent pay cut and five unpaid furlough days for the 2011-2012 year. This will result in a salary savings of $471,581 to the district in the 2011-2012 budget.

OTA President Linda Kraus said that OTA members overwhelmingly voted to ratify the tentative agreement and they feel it’s fair considering the state of the economy. Kraus also thanked Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Marc Malone for streamlining the efforts of negotiations and noted that he has the respect of the OTA membership.

Malone reported that a successor agreement lasts for three years (2011-2014) but that salaries are negotiated annually. He added that there were no changes in policies or practices as a result of the agreement. Trustee Mike Tozzi said that he hopes to be able to give back what’s been taken away from the teachers when the recession is over. Trustees Rick Jones and Mike House also commented that they appreciated the teachers’ efforts and sacrifices.

For the classified employees, Malone stated that the opening proposal from CSEA has been received and after the 30-day sunshine period then they will begin negotiations.

In other business, trustee William Dyer expressed concerns about the 2011-2012 school year calendar. He pointed out that in February there is one week where school is out — school is closed three of the days and the other two are holidays. He also mentioned the number of half days.

Superintendent Fred Rich responded that there are 175 student days in the calendar. He added that there is no perfect schedule and that the 20 minimum days are for staff development. Kraus said that there was a lot of coordination with the district and the associations. She also said that she believes one week off in February is better for lesson planning than having what she called “broken weeks.”

The next regular meeting of the OJUSD Board of Trustees is Monday, March 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Oakdale City Council Chambers, 277 N. Second.