Board ratifies contract with school workers

Sean C. Morgan

The Sweet Home School Board ratified a three-year contract with classified employees Monday night.

The contract provides a 2.5 percent increase in pay in 2016-17 and 2 percent in each of the following two years.

The district will increase its contribution to health insurance premiums from $960 to $1,000 per month next school year, $1,030 the following year and $1,060 in the third year.

In the third year of the contract, the district will combine compensation for two food service positions to meet new minimum wage requirements.

The district and union also agreed to a plan where the district contributes $50 per month to a health savings account for those employees who choose the highest-deductible insurance plan, an arrangement the district already has with licensed employees.

Classified employees are primarily support staff, including bus drivers, assistants, clerical staff and maintenance workers.

Voting for the contract were School Board members Angela Clegg, Chanz Keeney, Jason Redick, Chairman Mike Reynolds, Carol Babcock and Debra Brown.

Absent were Jason Van Eck, Jenny Daniels and Nick Augsberger.

In other business, the board agreed to increase its contribution to health insurance premiums from $1,000 per month to $1,060 for licensed employees, primarily teachers.

As part of their 2014-17 contract, the district and union agreed to split the difference in increases to insurance premiums.

The board also hired new staff members, including Christina Lamb, special education, Sweet Home High School; Tina Tressel, special education, Foster and Hawthorne elementary schools; Autumn Almanza, art, SHHS; Elizabeth Sterling, kindergarten, Hawthorne; Lisa Collins, summer school special education; and Andrew Price, vice principal and athletic director, Sweet Home Junior High.

The district accepted the retirements of Eileen McHill, Spanish, SHHS, and Nancy Ellis, career education, SHHS. McHill returns on special contract as a part-time Spanish teacher next school year.

The board accepted resignations from Elizabeth Wieland, science, SHJH; Matthew Clark, music and vocals, SHHS; and Dash Almeida, math and science, SHHS.