North Royalton Schools non-teaching staff to receive 2 percent annual raises under new contract

August 21, 2018 GMT

North Royalton Schools non-teaching staff to receive 2 percent annual raises under new contract

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio -- Bus drivers, mechanics, secretaries, custodians, special-education aides, food-service workers and other non-teaching employees in the North Royalton City School District will receive 2 percent raises in each of the next three years, under a new contract the school board approved last week.

Superintendent Greg Gurka said the increases will add about $151,000 to the district’s annual $50 million operating budget. However, the district will save money -- although the estimated amount wasn’t clear in time for this story -- because workers have agreed to pay more toward their healthcare benefits.

At the Aug. 13 school board meeting, Gurka praised both the district’s bargaining team and the Ohio Association of Public School Employees, which represents the non-teaching workers, “for their professionalism, collaborative spirit and willingness to talk and discuss issues and concepts.”

“Once again, the North Royalton way is evident in these negotiations,” Gurka said.

Board member Dr. John Kelly also commended negotiators.

“A good, professional, collaborative process leads to rewards other than just the (contract),” Kelly said. “It leads to continued willingness to work together, and that is a huge asset for our district, and I’m glad we were able to retain that going forward.”

The 2 percent increases mirror those given in June to teachers, psychologists, therapists and counselors, represented by the North Royalton Education Association.

The new contract, which runs from August 2018 through July 2021, covers 242 OAPSE workers. Hourly rates for these workers now range from $11.66 for cleaners to $17.95 for bus drivers. The average salary is $20,210.

Gurka didn’t say how much single workers and workers with families contributed toward their healthcare premiums under the old contract. Under the new contract, the amounts will rise to $83 a month for singles and $142 for families in the contract’s first year, $91 a month for singles and $158 for families in the second year, and $100 a month for singles and $175 for families in the third year.

It also wasn’t known in time for this story whether workers will pay higher copays for emergency room visits and office appointments, or whether they will pay more for prescription drugs, under the new contract.

Also last week, the board approved “compensation plans” for workers represented by the Central Office Professional Staff Association and the North Royalton Principals Association, in addition to central office administrators.

Gurka said these workers will also receive 2 percent increases annually for the next three years. The raises will cost the district $54,000 a year.

Gurka said COPSA members earn between $35,000 and $74,100 a year, and the average salary is $52,000. For administrators, the starting base salary is $75,132, and the average salary for principals and central office workers is $90,746.

As for healthcare, COPSA members will pay the same amount toward their premiums as OAPSE members. Principals and central office administrators will pay the same premium amounts as teachers, which is $125 a month for single workers and $250 a month for family coverage.