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Financial commission OKs union contracts

NILES — The Niles Financial Commission gave its approval Monday to agreements with the school district’s two unions, the Niles Education Association and the Ohio Association of Public School Employees.

Commission chairman Bob Foss said having the contracts in place helps the district to know, in part, what to expect financially in the coming year.

“There’s a lot of unknowns with COVID and how that will impact the district, but it does help to know at least those contracts are settled.”

The Niles Financial Commission has overseen the Niles City School District since it was placed in state-mandated fiscal emergency in February 2019.

The wage reopener agreements keep members of both unions at their 2019-2020 pay for the next two contract years, with continued experience step advancement on the salary schedule and educational attainment step advancement for teachers.

It also gives employees a “match” in their employee-funded flexible spending account of up to $150 for the 2021-22 school year.

In addition, the memorandums of understanding outline retirement incentives for eligible employees in both unions, with one-time lump sums available for employees who retire by the end of the fiscal year. A larger payout is available the sooner employees notify the board of their intent to retire.

The financial commission also approved the district response to the financial recovery plan requirements, putting on the record that it has accepted the most recent financial plan that the district created.

The next financial planning commission meeting is set for 1 p.m . Sept. 3. The Niles Board of Education will meet ahead of that, at 6 p.m. on August 20 at the district administration building.

avugrincic@tribtoday.com

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