After more than two years of negotiations, the Mars School Board has approved a three-year contract with the district’s support employees.
The board voted 7-1 on the contract during a meeting Tuesday. The union representing the district’s custodial, paraprofessional and secretarial staff accepted the terms last week.
The new contract takes away spousal and family health care benefits but does include a higher starting wage and bonuses. Previously, support staff hired before 2012 (currently a total of about 35 people) were able to have health insurance coverage for their entire family. In exchange, all support staff employees will receive a $1,000 bonus for school year 2015-16, an additional $1,000 bonus for school year 2016-17, a 50-cent per hour raise in pay for 2017-18, another 50-cent per hour raise in pay for 2018-19, and a 35-cent per hour raise for the 2019-20 school year.
The school board gave the union a Sept. 1st deadline to either accept a contract or the district said it would hire an outside company for support services.
Dozens of Mars residents attended Tuesday’s meeting and about 10 spoke in support of Mars support staff being able to continue in a contract similar to what they had previously, even if that means an increase in taxes.
Mars employs around 84 total support staff employees. All of the district’s labor contracts are settled through June of 2020.
Written By: Ryan Saeler for the Butler Radio Network