The BKW Central School District has reach a new five-year contract agreement with its CSEA bargaining unit which represents about 50 employees from the custodial/maintenance, clerical, transportation and food service departments.
Negotiations began last spring and the Board of Education approved the contract at its January meeting. The new contract is retroactive to July 1, 2019 and will run through June 30, 2024.
“We are happy to have a five-year settlement,” said Superintendent of School Dr. Timothy Mundell, who characterized the negotiations process as “cooperative, respectful and informed” on both sides. “From the district’s perspective, a five-year agreement allows for predictable budget planning as we move forward.”
The district began negotiations with two basic ideas in mind, Mundell said, “that our people are our most valuable asset and a spirit of positive labor-management relations is healthy for the work environment.”
Three negotiating sessions were held during the process from mid-July through December. Each session lasted for approximately two hours. The unit presented proposals and the district outlined parameters within which it had to work such as budget constraints, legal compliance, and clarity of contract language.
Some of the key components of the new contract include:
- Salary increases for CSEA members totaling 18 percent over five school years: 3 percent in 2019-20, 3 percent in 2020-21, 4 percent in 2021-22, 4 percent in 2022-23, and 4 percent in 2023-24. The approximate district budget increase to cover the salary increases is $45,000-$50,000 for each year of the agreement.
- CSEA employee health insurance contributions will remain at 20 percent for members hired after January 1, 2004.
- The district will continue to provide uniforms for custodial and maintenance staff through a rental agency. Allocation for boots and other uniform needs was increased from $100 per year to $200 per year, per member.
- Agreements on several clarifications of contract language to make administration of the agreement more efficient for both the district and the CSEA members.