South Range board OKs teachers pact

BEAVER TWP. – The South Range school board Friday morning approved a retroactive one-year contract with its teachers union.

The board approved the negotiated contract for the 2013-2014 school year retroactive to Sept. 1 and effective through Aug. 31. The teachers had been working under an imposed contract since September since the Ohio Revised Code prevents the board from approving contracts while projecting a deficit, according to Treasurer Jim Phillips.

The new contract stipulates an absolute pay freeze for the third consecutive year. Employee contribution for health care benefits remains at the same rate as the previous contract.

“The Board of Education and The South Range Education Association continue to be mindful of the financial challenges that face the district and will work together in the best interest of educating the students of the South Range School District,” schools Superintendent Dennis Dunham said. “The Board of Education is very grateful of the cooperative spirit of the education association in terms of their genuine concern for the overall well-being of the district. The financial constraints of the district are recognized by the association and their willingness to work through the issues is commendable. The professionalism and attitude of the association members and the board of education members during entire process is a model in which the South Range community would be proud.”

Both the teachers and classified employees unions’ contracts expire before the start of the next school year, but the district is projected in a deficit, so the two sides will be in the same situation again shortly.