By Jeff Gallatin
District officials have made a hat trick during the winter months and approved the third completed contract with North Olmsted employees in this academic year.
With the school board’s approval earlier this month of a four-year contract with administrative staff, the district can now put contract negotiations behind them, with the teaching staff and nonteacher employees’ contracts already having been completed and approved.
“It’s good to have all those behind us,” said interim Superintendent Terry Krivak. “It’s always good for a district and its staff to have those taken care of. This contract, like the others, puts the district in a good position for several years.”
This contract covers building principals and assistant principals as well as other administrative workers throughout the district, including the main office. It covers about 25 people, Krivak said.
Like the other contracts, the contract with the administrators is four years, running until 2016. Also like the others, it has pay raises of 1.95 percent for each of the first three years of the contract, and 1.75 percent the final year.
Another key portion of the contract, which copies the other two contracts, has the employees increasing their share of paying for their health insurance. The employee contribution will go from 7 to 10 percent the first year, then 12 percent in the second and third years and 15 percent in the fourth year.
District Treasurer Rob Matson said the raises would cost the district an estimated $684,299 over the four years of the contract. He said the employees’ medical contribution would be an estimated $226,773.
Krivak said one part of the administrators’ contract that is different from the other contracts is a health provisions portion that encourages administrators to be healthier. It provides for the testing of an administrator’s health with annual physicals.
The new contract calls for some tuition reimbursement for educational coursework taken by the administrators as well. Matson said the cost to the district will depend on the number and type of courses taken.
In the actual board vote, members Linda Cleary, Joann DiCarlo, Terry Groden and Tom Herbster voted for the contract, while John Lasko voted against it. The proponents saw it as a good deal for the district, like the other contracts, with a balance between pay increases and the workers paying additional health care costs.
Lasko said his objections were about aspects of the tuition reimbursement and other financial portions of the agreement.
“When some of the individuals take courses and achieve a higher level of education, then we pay for a salary increase because they’ve achieved that higher level,” he said. ‘Now, we would be paying tuition for the courses which helps them reach that level. It’s essentially paying for the back and front end of the financial agreement, and I don’t know if we need to be doing both ends of the equation.”
Lasko said he also had concerns about the comprehensive nature and level of the salary increases to the administrators.
“There are some large figures in some of those increases,” he said. “I’ve been told that it will bring us more in line with what other administrators in the area are receiving, and that the funds are there for it. But just because we have it, I don’t necessarily think we have to pay it at this point.”