New contract inked for school support staff

BAR HARBOR — Conners Emerson support staff – ed techs, secretaries, bookkeepers, cafeteria workers and janitorial staff – will see three years of raises per a new contract approved by the School Committee on July 2.

The action came after executive session negotiations between three support staff union members and two school committee members.

The new contract replaces one that expired this year, which was also a three-year deal.

Along with the raise in pay, support staff will receive two additional days of paid time off per year. Previous contracts included three personal or sick days, but no additional leave, according to committee chair Kristi Losquadro.

The first year of the agreement calls for a 3.22 percent pay increase, which is in line with a change made at all of the schools in the Mount Desert Island Regional School System, except Conners Emerson, last month.

Raises of 5 percent and 4.25 percent are scheduled in the second and third years of the contract. Those changes were not implemented by the MDIRSS for support staff at other island schools.

“Some of these other changes may be carried over to all support staff, but that is a [school system board] decision,” Losquadro said last week in an email.

At the other schools, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance plans for administrators and support staff were changed effective immediately in the new contract. The same changes were made for Conners Emerson, but they go into effect in the second year of the new contract.

Losquadro said plans will stay the same for the first year. Once effective, deductibles rise in years two and three. The rising premium will be covered by a new health reimbursement account funded by the school system, she said.

Losquadro said similar health reimbursement plans are offered to municipal employees in Bar Harbor, Mount Desert and Tremont.

An item for an adjustment in benefits for Principal Barb Neilly and Vice Principal Heather Webster was on the agenda for the July 2 meeting. The board took no action.

The school board also formed a committee of support staff, administrators and special education teachers to research differential pay for specially trained employees, Losquadro said.


Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd is a University of Maine graduate and a former Bar Harbor reporter for the Mount Desert Islander.
Samuel Shepherd

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