Massena school district finishes contract talks with three unions

The Massena Central School District has reached agreements with three of its bargaining units, including the Massena Confederated School Employees’ Association, which represents clerical workers, teacher aides, nurses, food service workers, bus drivers, cleaners, custodians and maintenance workers. Bob Beckstead/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — The Massena Central School District has wrapped up contract negotiations with all three of its bargaining units — the Massena Federation of Teachers, Massena Building Administrators’ Association and Massena Confederated School Employees Association.

The three contracts had expired during the 2019-20 school year.

Contracts were recently approved for the Building Administrator’s Association and Confederated School Employees Association. Last spring, the district reached an agreement with the Federation of Teachers, which voted on and approved the two-page memorandum of agreement on June 11. The district’s board of education approved it during its meeting the following week.

The Building Administrator’s Association represents the transportation director and district administrators. The MBAA contract runs from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2023.

Under the new agreement, members will see salary increases of 3.75% in 2020-21 and 3.5% increases in 2021-22 and 2022-23.

All employees will pay 15% of premium costs for a health insurance plan. Previously, employees hired before 2012 paid 10% and those hired after 2012 paid 15%. Employees who retire after June 30, 2024, will be reimbursed $500 for Medicare Part B instead of the full amount under the law.

The contract eliminates reimbursement for prescription drugs, and it also adds a $2,000 longevity increment at the start of the 12th year of service.

The Confederated School Employees’ Association represents clerical workers, teacher aides, nurses, food service workers, bus drivers, cleaners, custodians and maintenance workers. The MCSEA contract runs from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2024.

During 2021-22, all employees who make less than $18 an hour based on a 100% scale will receive a 50 cents per hour salary increase, plus the negotiated percentage. All other employees will receive the negotiated percentage of 3.5% in 2021-22, 3.25% in 2022-23 and 3.25% in 2023-24. The contract also adds three more steps to the salary scale and adds pay of up to $600 for nurses who work up to five days in the summer.

Under the new contract, MCSEA members move from Rider 9 to Rider 10 in the St. Lawrence-Lewis Insurances Plan. Employees will pay 8% of the premium cost of the plan by the end of the contract. They currently pay 6.5%. In addition, the district will no longer pay for spouse Medicare Part B for employees who retire after July 1, 2021. A health insurance buyout has also been included for members who opt out of the district-provided insurance.

The Federation of Teachers agreement runs from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2022. It includes salary increases of 3% in 2020-21 and 3.25% in 2021-22 for teachers, and increases of 2.75% in 2020-21 and 3% in 2021-22 for teacher assistants. There’s no increase in the extracurricular stipends for 2020-21, but a 2% increase in 2021-22.

The contract also removes health insurance language in regard to employee spouses being required to obtain primary insurance from their own employers where available.

“One of our goals this past year was to reach a contract agreement with each of our labor units. We are happy to have accomplished this objective and appreciate the work of our union leadership and members in helping us to obtain a fair agreement,” Superintendent Patrick H. Brady said. “These agreements provide a reasonable wage increase for our employees while continuing to improve our sharing of the cost of health insurance benefits.”

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