Union contracts approved for West Jeff school employees

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(Posted June 11, 2019)

By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

Jefferson Local teachers and classified staff have a new contract.

“The negotiations went smoothly,” said David Harper, school board president, after the board approved the pair of collective bargaining agreements on June 10.

The agreement with Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) Local 684 carries forward all provisions of their 2018-19 agreement, plus the addition of a 1.33 percent across-the-board salary increase for each classification.

Teachers in the West Jefferson Education Association also carried forward contract provisions from 2018-19, plus a 1.33 percent increase to the base salary. The parties agreed that vertical step and horizontal column movement will occur with normal practice.

In regard to professional development, a committee consisting of one administrator and one teacher representing each building will be established to plan professional development in-service programs intended for use on workdays.

For all required professional development in-service hours scheduled, certified staff will be provided with an equivalent amount of work hours to perform tasks such as lesson planning, grading, creating classroom materials, organization and parent/guardian communications.

High school Envirothon and Mock Trial positions were added to the extra duty salary schedule.

The agreement was signed by the teachers’ union representative on May 30 and is effective July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.

In other action, the board approved an agreement to sell the Garrette Park/Frey property to the village for $195,000 payable over two years.

“I thank the village and the board for getting this done,” said Superintendent William Mullett. “It’s something that’s been talked about for decades. I think it’s a better fit for the village.”

The agreement does not include a football field that belongs to the West Jefferson Community Association. Before the Garrette parcel became a park, the land was owned by the Garrette family and used as a playground for the Frey school building. The family donated the land to the school district.

The board also approved a CRA/TIF (Community Reinvestment Area/Tax Increment Financing) agreement with Duke Realty for the Looby estate property in the Park 70 development area. Art Makris, vice president of leasing and development at Duke Realty, said the company previously extended the park, but since it is almost developed, there is need for more land. Duke entered into a contract with the Looby estate to purchase 375 acres across the street from Park 70.

When board member Dr. Meg Hiss asked why the area is attractive to developers, Makris pointed to its proximity to the I-70 corridor.

“Columbus, as a region, has been very good,” Makris said, adding that as more e-commerce emerges, the need for large e-commerce buildings grows.

Currently, the Park 70 complex at State Route 29 and U.S. Route 40 is home to a Target distribution center and Restoration Hardware, Ace Hardware and Amazon warehouses.

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