At Boone Community Schools
Unity Critical in Winning
Improvements for All
The support staff of Boone Community Schools, members of
amalgamated UE Local 893, ratified a new two-year agreement on May 26 which
includes significant wage increases and improvements in key areas of contract
language. Members’ unity became crucial in resisting repeated attempts by
the school district to introduce a new wage schedule which would have provided
large raises for some but tiny increases for the majority.
These UE members are teacher associates, bus drivers, clerical
employees, custodians and food service workers; they organized into the union
At a time when the school district is experiencing about 2
percent budget growth, UE members at Boone won a 3.26 percent growth package
for their wages and benefits in the first year of the agreement. Recognizing
that teacher associate pay was disproportionately low, the union pushed for
extra money in their pay schedule. As a result, associates’ starting pay
will be increased by 42 cents in the first year and by as much as 50-60 cents
in the second year.
In the second year of the contract, Boone workers will receive
a 4 percent package for all classifications, which will provide for even
larger pay increases for each employee.
CONTRACT LANGUAGE IMPROVEMENTS
Improvements in contract language include loosened
restrictions on the floating holiday and an overhaul of confusing transfer
language which caused numerous grievances during the term of the first
contract. The new contract also contains union leave, so that the UE members
in Boone can more fully participate in the union’s affairs.
Activity trips for bus drivers had been a difficult problem,
because short trips outside the regular work day could sometimes amount to
less than two dollars total pay. So in addition to adding a one-hour minimum
pay for all trips, union negotiators also raised activity-trip pay by more
than $2 an hour over the life of the contract.
Throughout the long and difficult negotiations, the committee
and union membership stuck together. Eventually the chair of the Iowa Public
Employment Relations Board came to mediate. Agreement was reached after two
sessions with him.
The UE committee consisted of sublocal Pres. Jean Sorsen,
Vice Pres. Donna Hilton, Sec.-Treas. Becky Hampton, Pam Anderson, Rose Brekke,
Darla Meek, Milt Sprecher and Dee Willuweit. They were assisted by Field
Org. Don Taylor.
UE News - 06/99