Members of the Columbus School Employees Association (CSEA) voted overwhelmingly to approve a new tentative three-year contract that CSEA President Lois Carson called “a huge win for the workers who really make our school district run – the critical support staff who impact our students every single day in so many ways.”
CSEA represents nearly 3,000 members in Columbus City Schools. The members voted Saturday. The Board of Education will vote June 20.
The agreement includes wage increases of 4 percent in each of the first two years with a wage reopener in the final year.
The agreement also includes a $500 signing bonus in December and another $500 bonus in June 2024. The new contract makes one-time adjustments to the step system, which will accommodate those who were impacted by the step freeze from September 2011 to August 2014. Those who have been with the district for more than 30 years will receive an additional 2 percent step increase.
The contract provides for district-paid background checks; $50 monthly bonuses for perfect attendance; a streamlined promotion process which will result in most employees receiving an average of a 7 percent wage increase when promoted; and up-front tuition reimbursement assistance that eliminates upfront out-of-pocket costs to employees. This tuition reimbursement can be used in conjunction with the union’s free and reduced-cost college program.
Food service managers received an additional hour and will now be 8-hour employees. Mechanics will get a $400 tool-replacement stipend. And, Intervention Aides and Special Needs Intervention Aides are moving up in the step ranges – over and above the improved step language that impacts other workers. That could mean anywhere from 50 cents per hour to $1.50 per hour for the aides.
“This is a really good contract that provides solid wage increases and other financial improvements that will make a real difference for our members. Our team came together with management to craft an agreement that shows we are valued and supported for the critical work we do and the impact we have on the education of our students.”
Carson added that local unions across the state are negotiating with employers throughout the summer and encouraged them to share their new agreements with OAPSE by contacting the public affairs department at [email protected].
“We need to spread the good news about what it’s worth it to Stick With Your Union and show management that you are strong and united!”