Tallmadge school board approves union contracts for next two school years


TALLMADGE - Two unions and the school board worked together to finalize contract agreements for the next two school years.

The Tallmadge School Board passed agreements for the Tallmadge Teachers Association on July 15 and the Service Employees International Union on July 29.

The Tallmadge School Board adopted the agreements for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 contract years.

“The contracts are consistent between the teachers and classified staff,” said Steve Wood, chief operating officer.

Finance Director Jeff Hostetler said the contracts were rollovers of the current agreements with no change in the language with a 2% increase each year in salaries and includes 0.5% increase in health care costs by the employees.

In 2020-21 the lowest paid employee is $14.14 for school secretary and the highest is $20.58 for lunch room manager in the pay grid for SEIU employees. In 2021-22 the pay would be $14.42 for school secretary and $21 for lunch room manager.

“Both unions took a wage freeze a year ago,” said Superintendent Jeff Ferguson.

Employees currently pay 13% for medical coverage and it will be up to 14% by the 2021-22 school year.

The work had to be done remotely because of COVID-19. Both unions had to bargain in the middle of a pandemic, Ferguson said.

“It was a new way to do that, and we appreciate the unions who worked with us through the pandemic and obstacles we had to face,” Ferguson said. “We had good working labor relationships with both parties, and both parties rolled the language over for two years.”

Sometimes language is an obstacle in contract negotiations, but both unions and the school board worked together, he said.

“They wanted to help families and kids during the pandemic,” Ferguson said. “We’re thankful for both Tallmadge Teachers Association and the SEUI for that good will relationship.”

Gannett reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at lfreeman@recordpub.com