Disabilities board OKs teacher pact

LISBON – The Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities on Wednesday approved a new contract with the education association and gave a raise to supervisors.

Unlike the last contract, there was no threat of strike during negotiations. Superintendent Bill Devon said the negotiations took longer than they would have liked again this time, but noted it had more to do with changes to the Ohio Revised Code.

“It went fairly well,” Devon reported to the board. “There was no strike notice. There were no (pickets). They were tough, but reasonable.”

After the meeting Devon said there was no increase in base pay, but members of the education association will receive a 1.7 percent increase this year and a 2.0 percent increase next year. There is a wage reopener in the third year. Additionally, members will now pay 10 percent of their health insurance premium.

Board members also approved a $100, one-time payment to personal service assistance and intermittent employees. Devon said those employees are not addressed by the education association contract.

A 3 percent increase was given with no increase in base pay to managers in the district, effective March 24. Devon said members of that group have not received a raise in the past three years and the increase was to help keep pace with what others received.

In other matters:

– The board approved the hiring of Jake Lunger part-time as an Employment First point person. Lunger, who has one of the waivers from the school himself, will be helping find employment for other clients of the BDD.

– A client vs. staff basketball game was being held later Wednesday night. It was noted there used to be about nine clients and eight members of the staff who participated. With the popularity of the school’s basketball team growing following state championships the past two years, the event has grown. Now about 35 clients and 25 staff members play and two games were planned for Wednesday night.

– The board approved the addition of four days to the school calendar. Devon noted a bill passed recently by state legislators granting extra days for schools does not include those at BDDs. While he has heard there may be an amendment fixing that down the road, he thought it may be best to put the days in place for now.

– The board approved sharing services for busing with the ESC and Lisbon schools, which will share in the cost of adding an additional management position, a transportation management services person for the bus garage. Unless other schools get involved, Devon said the cost will be about $60,000. The person will aid in dispatching for bus drivers. Devon said if there is not a savings the board can end the contract in the future.

– The board approved the expenditure of $3,500 for holding this year’s Spring Fling at St. Jude’s in Columbiana on May 3. The event was held in the past at Quaker Hall in Salem, but it was a tight fit last year with 350 attending. Devon said the new location holds 500 and has a paved parking lot, which is better for those in wheelchairs attending.