School Board Approves New Tentative Agreement With Teachers

Oskaloosa Community School Board

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The Oskaloosa School Board approved a new tentative agreement and master contract amendments with the teachers at Oskaloosa Community School District this past week.

Oskaloosa School District Superintendent Russ Reiter said that “technically now” salaries are the remaining portion of the contract the union has to negotiate.

The board was provided with what amounts to a table of contents for the contracts, in regards to the benefits and responsibilities both parties have in fulfilling the contract.

A $900 increase was proposed for each cell of the pay scale.

The next step was then for the local teachers’ union to vote. The local teachers have had concerns about what was being taken out of their previous contract, and being placed in the handbook for employees. This is a change from previous years, due to legislation passed during the 2017 legislative session.

The tentative agreement was passed unanimously by the board.

The board also looked at approval of softball field specifications and to solicit bids for those changes.

There are concerns about the current softball field and its ability to safely host and maintain the playing field.

All the information that was scheduled to be discussed was not yet available, so the discussion was tabled until the May 9th meeting.

The board then received an update on the high school gymnasium renovations. These renovations potentially include a new roof, which Reiter says the facility is in need of.

These discussions also included replacing the heating system, and maybe also to include a cooling system with the unit.

Early estimates put the renovation project at 1.9 to 2.1 million dollars, if the whole project was accepted.

Board member Carl Drost spoke about his visit to the gymnasium, with the staff, on January 17, 2017. Drost says the thing that sticks in his mind is that there are places in the gym where you can look outside “and see clear blue sky”.

Drost said that the structure, which was built 40 years ago when roll insulation was used, is now lacking when it comes to the energy efficiency of the facility. “Since the gym is 40 years old, we have a responsibility to build a gym for the next 40 years.”

Board President Tom Richardson agreed with Drost about his perspective of the 40 year project, and that sizable investment, and how these improvements would impact the usability of the space for students and employees, would be a positive step. “Having better control of the temperature and the humidity is something we need to consider.”

The project could take 6 months to complete and would be started in mid to late fall of 2017, and the contractor would need to work with the school calendar to limit disruption to students and staff.

The district is currently sitting on 2.2 million in funds collected through sales tax. The district agreement with Mahaska County and the City of Oskaloosa will come to an end, and the district will then have approximately 4.3 million available for projects such as this one. The sales tax money collected is mandated to be used on buildings and repairs of such facilities, as well as transportation.

No action was taken on the discussion item. Reiter said that he may approach the board for a recommendation on the project at the May 9th meeting.

The board also heard an update on changes being proposed to the employment handbooks. No action was taken on this item, as the work on updating will continue to evolve.

The board accepted the resignation of Heather Hoven, Middle School Language Arts. The board approved the resignation.

The board approved the hiring of the home school assistance program teacher, Angela Patterson.

The next scheduled meeting will be on May 9th at 6pm inside the boardroom at George Daily Auditorium.

Posted by on Apr 27 2017. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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