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WAPS Board to ratify union contracts (06/04/2014)
By Amelia Wedemeyer
The Winona Area Public Schools (WAPS) Board will be asked to ratify the last two WAPS union contract settlements at its board meeting Thursday. If and when the board ratifies the administratorsí and office professionalsí contracts, the WAPS district will be on track to pay a combined $1,888,207 in salary increases and benefits for three years, starting with the current 2013-2014 school year.

The total additional costs in salary and benefits cover the five WAPS unions: educational assistants, plant operation and maintenance, teachers, administrators, and office professionals. While the educational assistants, plant operation and maintenance, and office professionals are part of a three-year contract, the administrators and teachers belong to a two-year contract as per Minnesota state law.

The salary increase by year is $659,922 for the 2013-2014 school year; $969,526 in the 2014-2015 school year; and $258,282 in the 2015-2016 school year. (2015-2016 increases do not include the teachers or administrators, who settled a two-year contract.)

Breakdown by WAPS union

The educational assistants union has a three-year contract that includes a one percent increase ($100,305) the current school year, a 2.5 percent increase ($122,385) in the 2014-2015 school year and a three percent increase ($192,278) in the 2015-2016 school year. The total number in additional salary and benefits for the educational assistants is $414,968 over the three contract years.

The plant and maintenance union also has a three-year contract with the district, with a two percent increase ($20,915) the current school year, a two percent increase ($21,222) for the 2014-2015 school year and a 2.5 percent increase ($27,199) for the 2015-2016 school year. The total increase in salary and benefits for plant and maintenance over three years is $69,447.

The teachers union, also known as the Winona Education Association, is the largest of the five WAPS unions. The teachers union, which settled with the help of a state mediator after nine hours of discussion with the WAPS negotiations committee, has settled a two-year contract that includes an increase in salary and benefits of a one percent raise for the current school year and a two percent raise in the 2014-2015 school year. However, the settled teachers union contract eliminates the entry-level pay step and adds an additional top pay step that is equivalent to a 1.2 percent increase for the current school year and a 1.2 percent increase for the 2014-2015 school year. The total cost for the teachers union contract settlement is a $485,948 increase in the current school year and a $765,651 in the 2014-2015 school year, which totals a combined $1,251,599 for both years.

The administrators union, also known as the principals union, has a two-year contract with the district that includes a two percent increase ($20,701) for the current school year and a two percent increase ($27,623) for the 2014-2015 school year. The two-year contract is worth $48,324 in total salary and benefits increases.

The office professionals union, also known as the clerical employees union, has a three-year contract with the district that includes a two percent increase ($32,053) for the current year, a two percent increase ($32,534) in the 2014-2015 school year and a 2.5 percent increase ($39,282) in the 2015-2016 school year. Over the three contract years the district will pay a total of $103,869 to office professionals in additional salary and benefits.  

 

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