Leetonia BOE OKs staff pact

LEETONIA- The Leetonia school board Thursday ratified a contract with the classified staff union, days before the start of school.

The three-year contract calls for a total of $1.50 per hour raise over its term for the classified staff. The staff members will also be responsible for health care concessions including higher deductibles and premiums.

Like the teachers’ union contract approved last month, the classified contract marks the first raise for classified employees in seven years.

Schools Superintendent Rob Mehno said that he appreciates the hard work that all the district employees have made for the district and students the past few years.

“[The raises are] a testimony that we’re able to reward both the classified and teaching staffs for the sacrifices they made when the money wasn’t there while keeping the district as fiscally stable as possible,” he said.

In other business the board approved a field trip substitute bus driver rate of $10.95 per hour and eliminated the down time rate for trip driving. The difference between driving and down time rate was also eliminated for regular drivers in the classified union contract.

According to board member Michael Rulli, the board discovered a disparity in desire for long trips such as to Cleveland versus local sporting events due to the inequity in driving and down time. He said the move is an attempt to make the job more fair to the drivers.

The board requested a comparison to other districts regarding substitute driving wages to determine if an increase in necessary.

Also at the meeting Mehno reported that the gates at the Bell Tower at the football stadium are separating from the brick and are becoming a safety hazard. He said the administration is working with the Alumni Association and Buckeye Fab on Butcher Road to resolve the issue. However, the gates will be removed for the football season.