Conotton BOE approves pay raises


BOWERSTON – An increase in Public Utilities Property taxes in Harrison County has provided significant pay increases for both classified and certified employees of the Conotton Valley Union Local School District.

At the CV Board of Education’s April 19 meeting, members approved a negotiated agreement extension with the Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) union providing for 3 percent pay raises for approximately 31 classified workers and extended the contract with the Ohio Association of Public School Employees (certified) union an additional three years, expiring in 2022.

Cost of the four years of the OAPSE agreement will be an additional $75,000, according to Conotton Valley School District Treasurer Denise Ketchum.

At a special meeting April 27, the board approved a 4 percent wage increase with the Conotton Valley Education Association (CVEA), costing an additional $100,000, plus a $5,000 signing bonus for the 39 certified employees.

The new CVEA contract includes a reopener option after the 2018-19 school year for salary and fringes. The total amount will cost the school district about $319,000, according to CV Supt. Todd Herman.

Commenting on the two new negotiated contracts, Supt. Herman said: “We are happy to be able to put negotiations behind us. One of the key points in our district’s Strategic Plan is to raise the salary of the staff,” he said.

“The Conotton Valley Strategic Plan was created with the assistance of our community members who were adamant about raising our salaries to stop other districts from harvesting our top teachers due to large salary disparities,” he added.

The negotiated OAPSE agreement also includes some revisions regarding aide language, the bus shuttle to Buckeye, a pilot program regarding rentals of the school for events that do not require any cooking, and a new bargaining unit position of a groundskeeper up to 25 hours per week in which the union will not require union dues for the individual until the 2018-19 contract period starts.

In other business, the board:

– APPROVED a three-year contract with IXL Learning to provide site licensing for 375 students that include 100 students in grades 9-12 for math and ELA, 250 students in K-8 for math, ELA, science and social studies, and 25 students in grades 9-12 for math, ELA, science and social studies at a cost of $17,550 over the three year period;

– APPROVED an agreement with Jefferson County Educational Service Center for the personal aide services of Christopher Thorne for the 2018-19 school year;

– ENTERED into an agreement with OMERESA to provide Internet access to the elementary and high school building as well as the administrative offices beginning July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2023 at a cost of $51,948;

– APPROVED an agreement with Union Hospital Association to provide a certified athletic trainer for various fall, winter and spring athletic events for a sum of $22,500 effective Aug. 1, 2018, through July 31, 2019;

– AMENDED a resolution from the Nov. 16, 2017, board meeting to employ Charlie Smith as an assistant baseball coach at a salary of $1,563.05 instead of a volunteer baseball coach;

– APPROVED the non-renewal of Eric Leggett as varsity boys basketball coach;

– ACCEPTED the resignation of Brock Caldwell as varsity girls basketball coach;

– APPROVED supplemental contracts for the 2018-19 school year for the following: Jen Hils, varsity girls basketball; Ty Carrothers, varsity boys basketball coach; Matt Edie, assistant varsity boys basketball coach; Mandy Porter, high school cheerleading coach; Terri McClain, volunteer high school cheerleading coach, and Bill Gilmore, varsity wrestling coach;

– EMPLOYED Chris Stitt as a part-time groundskeeper at a rate of $10 per hour on an as needed basis up to 25 hours per week;

– APPROVED a field trip for students in grades 5-8 to attend the math tournament sponsored by the Educational Service Center at Buckeye Career Center May 16 and 17;

– APPROVED a field trip for high school art students to attend the Cleveland Museum of Art May 22;

– APPROVED the student accident insurance program underwritten by Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Co. for the 2018-19 school year;

– APPROVED district participation in the 2018 Carroll County and Harrison/Jefferson County Comprehensive Case Management programs, formerly known as the Summer Youth Employment program;

– APPROVED Dan Howard as a substitute bus driver;

– APPROVED gifts and donations totaling $1,413;

– HEARD concerns from Pilar Gonzalez who presented a Spain field trip proposal to the board and permission to begin fund raising and a request from Eric Leggett to be reinstated as the varsity boys’ basketball coach;

– APPROVED the payment of bills totaling $518,720.02;

– APPROVED the transfer of $50,000 from the general fund to the Permanent Improvement fund for baseball field expenses;

– APPROVED CompManagment’s group retrospective rating program for Workers’ compensation for plan year Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2019, at an annual fee of $425;

– SET the next regular meeting for May 17 at 6:30 p.m.