The Brownsville Area School District came to an agreement with its service workers on a new contract that was ratified by the school board Tuesday.

School directors voted in favor of a new four-year collective bargaining agreement with the Service Employees International Union (S.E.I.U.) Local 32BJ. The contract is retroactive to July 1 and will run through June 30, 2022.

The district’s 67 service workers will receive a 2 percent raise each year of the contract, according to district business manager Bill Boucher.

The previous contract expired June 30. The district’s service employees worked without a contract for the first five months of the 2018-19 fiscal year. Boucher said the first pay raise in the contract will be retroactive to July 1.

District Superintendent Dr. Keith Hartbauer said the contract was six months in the works.

“We came to a nice agreement with the SEIU, so we’re happy about that, and we’ll have labor peace there for four years,” Hartbauer said.

Groups covered under the contract include custodial-maintenance and food service workers, instructional aides, building secretaries and security personnel.

Boucher said the employees will experience no changes to their benefits in the new contract and that they will maintain their current co-payments for insurance benefits as in the previous contract.

A slight alteration, the new agreement provides language changes for efficient personnel assignments, said Boucher.

In other financial matters, the board gave approval to refinance district debt.

School directors voted to refinance and restructure the district’s 2013 Series B and 2014 Series A, B and C bonds in an amount not to exceed $16.375 million.

Boucher said a final amount for the new bond will be determined at a later date based on market conditions. He said the district has set a minimum savings threshold of $200,000, meaning the district will not move forward with refinancing unless it will result in a savings of at least that amount.

“The idea is to refinance bonds that could provide a financial benefit to the district,” said Boucher.

Boucher said the district will not seek any new money in the refinancing.

Both the labor agreement and the debt resolution were unanimously approved by the five board members in attendance Tuesday, which included Terry Clark, Ron Dellarose Jr., Richard Gates, John Harvey and Gary Seelye.

School directors Andy Assad, Rocky Brashear, Andy Dorsey and Cheryl Terravecchia were not present.

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