Mathews: No more meetings on union contract

VIENNA – Mathews Local Schools Superintendent Lew Lowery said the Board of Education will not be meeting anymore to discuss a tentative contract agreement with the school’s employee union, after the union tied in its vote on the agreement Wednesday.

“No we’re not meeting anymore,” Lowery said. “That’s not our problem.”

The Ohio Association of Public School Employees Local 611, which represents about 30 custodians, food service workers and bus drivers, tied 12-12 on a vote to ratify the tentative agreement.

Ron Blatt, field representative for OAPSE, said after the vote that he hoped to meet with Lowery this week to see if the tentative deal could be tweaked to achieve approval from union members.

The agreement, dated March 18, calls for no raises for the first two years and a half-percent increase the third year, as well as an increase in health care contributions.

Under the proposed contract, employees working 40 hours a week would pay 10 percent of their health care premiums, an increase of 5 percent from the last contract, and employees working less than 40 hours but more than 20 hours a week would have a prorated contribution based on the hours / days worked.

Blatt said the sticking points had been about employees’ ability to work according to seniority, short-hour people being able to move up into higher hours, and language involving extra trips for bus drivers. The tentative deal would allow bus drivers to be selected according to the number of hours they have worked, not based on their seniority, when it comes to transportation for field trips, extracurricular activities and sporting events.