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Published: Thursday, 7/31/2008

Toledo schools settles $18M back-pay issue

BY MEGHAN GILBERT
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo Public Schools has finalized agreements with its unions that settle the issue of about $18 million owed in back pay and gives employees their first raises in six years.

The Toledo Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday approved the contracts with the Toledo Federation of Teachers, the Toledo Association of Administrative Personnel, and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

The board and the teachers' union already approved a fact finder's report that essentially spelled out details of the contract for the approximately 3,000 teachers, substitutes, and paraprofessionals.

The school board's vote finalized that contract as well as contracts with the administrative person-nel union, which represents about 300 employees including principals, deans, and directors, and AFSCME, which represents the district's 1,000 hourly workers, including custodians, secretarial staff, and bus drivers.

The former contracts were agreed to in 2000, so there was out-of-date language to clean up, Superintendent John Foley said. But the main hurdle was the deferred payments dispute.

Teachers have waited since 2002 for 2.01 percent raises. Hourly workers have been owed 1.48 percent and administrative personnel 0.53 percent raises. Each has settled differently.

Teachers are to get a lump sum payment by next month and add the raises to the salary schedule. Administrative personnel also add the payments to the salary schedule, but with no lump-sum check.

The hourly workers' agreement has the deferred payment paid back, meaning the 1.48 percent will be applied to salaries going back to 2003 and added up for a single payment members should receive next month.

The contracts also call for salary increases for each union that are their first raises since 2002.

The teachers will get a 1 percent raise for the upcoming school year and 2.8 percent for 2009-10. The administrative personnel and hourly workers are to get 2 percent raises each year of the two-year contract.

Overall, the financial considerations in the new contracts will cost the district about $28 million.



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