The Reynoldsburg Board of Education has approved two negotiated contracts that will enact pay freezes for all district employees.
According to the district, the freeze includes both step increases and cost-of-living increases with no provisions to make up the sacrifices in the next rounds of contract negotiations.
At a special meeting Jan. 19, the board ratified contracts with the two unions that represent the employees of the district.
When added together, the two contracts save the district more than $1 million in salary freezes through July 2011.
The Reynoldsburg Education Association (REA), the union that represents the certified teachers, agreed to a one-year contract extension that will give up all cost-of-living and step increases that had been previously agreed to by the district. The extension makes the current contract effective through the end of July 2011.
"This is a difficult time for our school district and our community," REA President David North said. "We want to protect our students from further cuts that will impact their education and their future."
The Reynoldsburg Support Service Association (RSSA), the union that represents secretaries, bus drivers, custodians, maintenance workers, cooks, security personnel and paraprofessionals, has been working without a contract since July 2009. The current agreement will freeze salaries and cost-of-living increases for two years.
In July 2011, the district and both unions will need to negotiate new contracts.
According to Community Outreach Coordinator Tricia Moore, these agreements are "real salary freezes through 2011, with no provision to make it wholeâ during future negotiations."
When the unions and district negotiate again in 2011, there is no plan to add back the amount being given up now.
"As far as I know, we are the only district around that has such an agreement," Moore said.
Superintendent Stephen Dackin praised the employees and called the concessions "extraordinary examples of shared sacrifice aimed at cutting the budget while trying to protect educational quality."
"These are permanent cost-savings that will help us continue our mission to provide the individualized, high-quality education that Reynoldsburg students deserve," Dackin said.
Since 2005, the district has cut the budget by 31 percent, reducing the $54-million budget by more than $17 million.