The support staff of the Shaker Regional School District have formed a union and will now be represented by the National Education Association of N.H.
As reported by the Laconia Daily Sun
A decision made by the N.H. Public Employee Labor Relations Board on June 22 certified the NEA’s representation of all full- and part-time employees who are working in clerical, custodian, food service, paraprofessional, teacher assistant and other similar positions.
The collective bargaining unit will not include SAU office staff, IT employees, occupation therapists, psychologists, the school-to-work coordination or other positions within the district that are considered temporary or seasonal. No management is included.
Superintendent Maria Dreyer said she argued that the SAU office staff should not be included because of their access to personnel and confidential records and information but said she didn’t argue against the rest of the employees organizing.
“I hope they’re happy with the results,” Dreyer said Thursday.
Dreyer said the fiscal year 2015-2016 budget passed at the annual district meeting in March included $80,000 for raises but the newly organized employees won’t get them until they negotiate a contract.
She said the $80,000 was included so the district could address some pay inequities within the administrative support staff.
“They will work at the same pay grade they have now until a contract can be ratified in March (of 2016),” Dreyer said.
When asked why she thought the support staff organized she said she thought it was money and insurance.
“I am happy it will result in relief equity for some people on the lower end of the pay scale,” Dreyer said.
The next step for the district, she said, is for the business administrator to determine job descriptions. She said there will be some realignment for consistency.
“The salary will all be negotiated as will step and grade,” Dreyer said. “(We) start from square one.”
She said performance increases could be negotiated as part of the contract but whether it will be, she doesn’t know.
The support staff employees union is the second union in the Shaker Regional School District. The teachers have long been represented by the NEA, but are in a different bargaining unit.
At the March meeting, the district voted to accept the cost provisions for the teacher’s contract that took effect on July 1. The negotiated contract with the teachers was for two years and Dreyer said the School Board and administration will be negotiating for the teachers next year for a new contract in fiscal year 2018.
This year, she said, will be when the School Board and the administration will negotiate a contract for the newly organized support staff that will go into effect July 1, 2016, if an agreement can be reached and the district meeting approves the cost provisions.