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School board OKs pact with transportation union : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
School board OKs pact with transportation union
Contract includes wage hikes, but described as 'cost neutral' to district

by Natalie Stevens


The Oswego School District Board approved a new four-year contract for union members of the Oswego Transportation Association (OTA) at a special board meeting Monday evening.

The new contract is valid for the 2014-15 school year through June 30, 2018.

Board member Brent Lightfoot described the contract as "cost neutral" because the "increase of the small pay raise [for transportation employees] is offset by cost savings within the contract."

According to OTA president Alex Wallace, there will be a 2.75 percent salary increase for transportation employees in the first year of the contract, and the next three years there will be an increase of 1.75 percent.

Wallace said that OTA employees could actually receive closer to a raise of 6.4 percent the first year due to absentee bonuses and longevity.

Both the school board and the OTA expressed their satisfaction with the contract and the collaboration process between the two organizations

Board president Bill Walsh said the board worked "very closely in collaboration with the Oswego Transportation Association," and both sides were "pleased" with the contract.

Wallace said the union and the district "work well together," and said, "It was just a good contract. We are very happy with it."

The previous OTA contract was set for two years and expired on June 30, 2014. Wallace said they had been aiming for a four year contract then, but had compromised with the school district. The 2012 - 2014 contract offered transportation employees a 1.5 percent salary increase each year of the contract.

The new contract, added Wallace, has several bonuses for members that they have never had before.

According to the Oswego Transportation Association website, the OTA ratified the contract on June 25 with a vote of 100 - 11 in favor.

The OTA has a membership of over 200, including 145 drivers, 51 monitors and 17 dean's assistants, according to Director of Transportation Derrick Berlin.

The board voted 5 -0, with board members Bill Walsh, Greg O'Neil, Matt Bauman, Danielle Paul and Brent Lightfoot voted in favor, and Alison Swanson voted 'present.' Board member Mike McDowell was absent.

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