Privatization looks less likely for 100 Saline Area Schools support staff
Members of the Saline Area Schools’ collective bargaining unit for support personnel will vote on a new contract Monday that includes significant concessions, but puts a halt to privatization talks.
“It took a while,” said Rita Engle, a Saline schools bus driver and member of the Saline Education Support Personnel (SESP) contract negotiations team. “But we reached a tentative agreement.”
Engle said union membership will be asked to ratify the agreement at 3:30 p.m. Monday.
Negotiations with the SESP and Saline’s other two unions, the Saline Education Association and Saline Area Schools Administrators Association, have been going on since about December.
Saline Board of Education members and district officials have maintained a policy of not commenting on collective bargaining discussions.
Engle declined to speak about the details of the agreement that was reached. But she said if all goes as planned, the union will approve the contract and the contract will come before the board during Tuesday’s regular meeting, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Liberty School Media Center.
On June 26, the Saline Board of Education passed a $48.6 million budget that called for about $3 million in cuts, including laying off 16 to 17 certified teachers and either $830,000 in concessions from the SESP or privatizing as many as 100 support staff members. Engle declined to comment on the amount or types of concessions that were part of the tentative agreement.
The SEA ratified a two-year contract on June 27 that saved the district $2 million in cuts and eliminated the need for laying off teachers.
The SESP and administrators' contracts expired on June 30.