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Published: Friday, 1/9/2004

School board in Bedford grants 1.25% pay increases

TEMPERANCE - The Bedford Board of Education last night approved wage increases for about 125 employees over the objections of a board member who said the raises were not fiscally responsible.

The board approved contracts for three different groups by a 6-1 vote. Board member Steve Lennex voted against all three contracts.

The one-year agreements grant 1.25 percent raises to the district s 59 bus drivers and about 50 health, lunch, and playground aides, crossing guards, assistants, and coordinators. Also granted the raise were about 15 district directors, managers, and supervisors.

“It is not fiscally responsible to do this,” Mr. Lennex said. “We are bleeding red ink ... This defies all logic and common sense.”

Mr. Lennex objected to each of the contracts before the other six members approved the measures. He criticized the district s administration for not detailing how the wage increases would be funded.

Under the contracts, new hires will pay more for health insurance, said Wes Berger, assistant superintendent for human resources.

In other business, the board deferred accepting the superintendent s mid-year evaluation until its next meeting. Mr. Lennex said the evaluation was made up off a list of numbers that said “nothing to the public.”

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