School District 16 clerical workers get salary increase

Spring Lake Park District 16 School Board has approved a 4.1 percent increase in wages and benefits over a two-year period for the district’s clerical workers.

In a further breakdown, the district’s 25 workers will receive a 2.24 percent increase in the first year of the contract and a 1.81 percent increase in the second year, according to Ryan Stromberg, District 16’s human resources director.

The district’s clerical workers include administrative assistants to principals, assistants to program directors, assistants to counselors and a MARSS (Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System) coordinator, an employee who works with registration analysis and state reports.

The new contract, retroactive to July 1, 2012 with an end date of June 30, 2014, added a sixth step and updated contract language.

District negotiators Stromberg and LaToya Jefferson, the district’s human resources manager, met with Tom Lonergan, lead negotiator of OPEIU (Office and Professional Employees International Union) Local 12 for the clerical workers, in negotiations 10 times, starting May 17, 2012. The clerical workers ratified the contract in mid-January, according to Stromberg.

“It went well,” Stromberg said about negotiations. Most of the meetings were building trust between the two groups and understanding where both groups were at, he said.

“It wasn’t adversarial by any means,” Stromberg said.

Lonergan did not return a call for comment.

The total $1.3 million clerical workers contract, includes $78,000 of new money.

Year one of contract

In the first year of the contract, workers in years one through five will take a step increase. Workers on step six will get a one-time stipend of $600.

Office secretaries on the first step of the wage scale will receive $15.01 an hour in year one of the contract. A worker on the sixth step, the highest step, will receive $17.97 an hour.

Program secretaries on the first step, such as an assistant to guidance counselors, will receive $16.28 an hour. A sixth step program secretary will receive $19.46 an hour.

Administrative assistants to principals will receive $17.83 an hour on step one. Those on step six will receive $21.33.

The MARS employee (the district has one) on the first step will earn $19.05 an hour and $22.70 on step six.

Year two of contract

A step increase will not be taken in year two of the contract, but steps one through five clerical workers will get a one-time stipend of $500. Workers on step six do not receive the one-time stipend, but they will get a 25 cents an hour increase.

Under the new contract, workers receiving single health care coverage will continue to receive the same benefit as last year, the district’s monthly contribution of $510 a month. In year two of the contract, the district’s contribution will increase $25.50 to $535.50 a month.

Those with family coverage will continue to receive $805 per month in year one, also the same as last year. That number will increase by $40 to $845 in year two of the contract.

Stromberg said the clerical workers “did a nice job in negotiating for the group,” adding that they are vital employees for the success of the district’s principals and directors.

The school board approved the contract in a 7-0 vote at a Feb. 12 school board meeting.

Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]