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Springboro avoids labor issues as school year nears with new teacher, staff contracts

Springboro’s school board unanimously approved new three-year contracts with its teachers union and support staff union Thursday, ending any worries of labor strife ahead of the Aug. 16 first day of school.

The parties had been in federal mediation after failing to negotiate a replacement for the contract that expired June 30. After reaching tentative agreements last week, the unions approved the deals Tuesday.

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A statement from the school district said the new contracts will give teachers a 2 percent raise each of the next two years, while classified staff (secretaries, bus drivers, aides and others) will get 2.25 percent raises those years.

Marla Bell, the Ohio Education Association representative for both Springboro unions, confirmed those raises and said members’ step-raise eligibility, based on levels of seniority and education, will remain the same.

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On health insurance, Springboro City Schools will pay 80 percent of employees’ premiums and 50 percent of the deductible (a slight increase from 45 percent, according to Bell). Salary and health insurance changes for the third year, 2020-21, will be subject to a “reopener” of negotiations.

“This agreement will allow all sides to place full attention on what matters most in our district: educating and serving our more than 6,000 students, their families, and the Springboro community,” Superintendent Dan Schroer said in a statement.

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Bell said the agreement nailed down some important things on teacher planning time and protected family health insurance plans. And it was important to get the deal wrapped up now.

“Psychologically, for any teacher or classified employee, when we don’t have negotiations resolved, it weighs heavy on their minds,” Bell said. “To start the school year with all of this resolved and their salaries intact for the next two years, it provides some protection so they can focus 100 percent on the kids.”

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