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Washington County school board expected to vote Tuesday on employee contracts

Raises expected for members Educational Support Personnel and administrators and supervisors

February 16, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Board of Education is expected to vote on contracts for all three of its employee bargaining units at a board meeting Tuesday, according to an email from school system spokesman Richard Wright.

The school system has reached a tentative agreement with the Washington County Teachers Association for the fiscal year that starts July 1, Wright said.

If the board informally agrees to the contract proposal during a closed session, it will discuss the contract during its 6 p.m. public meeting Tuesday at the Central Office off Commonwealth Avenue and call for a vote, Wright said.

The teachers union is in the first year of a three-year contract. Negotiations for the second year of the contract included wages.

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T. Scott Miller, chief negotiator for the teachers union, said Thursday he couldn’t comment on the terms of the tentative agreement.

School board President Wayne Ridenour said he couldn’t say whether teachers were getting raises this coming fiscal year.

Ridenour abstains from teachers’ contract negotiations and votes because he has three family members, including his wife, who are teachers for the school system.

Board Vice President Jacqueline Fischer said that as of Thursday afternoon she had not received official word whether the teachers union members had ratified the contract proposal and didn’t want to discuss its details.

Ridenour said raises of some sort are expected for members of the Washington County Educational Support Personnel and the nonunion bargaining group for administrators and supervisors.

“From my perspective, (it’s) within our budgetary constraints,” Ridenour said.

Employees have worked hard through some tough times, he said.

The school system’s four-year contract with Washington County Educational Support Personnel expires June 30.

Wright said the school system and support personnel have reached a tentative agreement for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Members were in the process this week of ratifying the terms of the agreement.

Once the school board finalizes employee contracts, Superintendent Clayton Wilcox can finalize his proposed budget, which will be presented to the public on March 6, Wright said.

Wright said the budget associated with the contracts will be covered by using “existing, committed funding.”

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