Published Date Written by Barbara TetreaultBERLIN – The city council Tuesday night unanimously rejected a tentative three-year contract between the Board of Education and Local 1444, representing custodians and bus drivers.
The nine full-time and five part-time members of the local have been working without a contract since June 2011.
The contract would have provided the employees with two percent wage increases in fiscal year 2013 and 2014. There was no retroactive increase for fiscal 2012. In addition, the contract included a merit pay component, providing increases of one half to one percent based on multiple evaluations by the district. It also allowed the district some flexibility in setting starting pay for new employees within a range based on qualifications.
The contract called for the school district to pay 80 percent of health insurance premiums based on the HMO plan. Employees who chose a point-of-service plan would have to make up any difference in cost from the HMO plan. The health insurance change in fiscal 2013 would have offset most of the wage and benefit increase.
The contract would have cost the district $5,474 in fiscal 2012, $995 in fiscal 2013, and $18,116 in fiscal 2014.
The school board approved the tentative contract at its Aug. 16 meeting. All cost items, however, require the approval of the city council.