The Boulder Valley School District and its bus drivers, custodians, food service and other hourly workers have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, allowing the two sides to avoid mediation.
After starting the school year at an impasse in salary negotiations, mediation with a third party had been planned for this week. But the district and the Boulder Valley Classified Employees Association restarted talks over the past few weeks to reach an agreement.
The agreement increases the pay rate for many positions, some now and the rest in January. All hourly employees also will receive the same 3.5% cost-of-living increase the district gave to all employees.
The association’s members and the school board still need to vote on the new contract, with the school board’s vote set for Oct. 11.
“While there is still work to do on both sides, the agreement between BVCEA and the district is a big step in the right direction,” according to a written statement from the association’s leadership. “Going forward, our focus will be to bridge the gap between those at the top of the pay scale and those at the bottom. Finding a way to make (the cost-of-living adjustment) fair for all is something that we believe benefits both BVCEA and the district.”
The association had argued that the 3.5% cost-of-living wasn’t enough to get its hourly employees to a living wage.
Another area of disagreement was whether the district is paying in the 75th percentile range for salaries for each position as determined by the district through a consultant based on peer school districts. When negotiations broke down, the district and the association hadn’t been able to agree on the pay rate for 16 out of 38 job classifications.
Rob Price, Boulder Valley’s assistant superintendent of operational services, said the district in the most recent round of negotiations agreed to look at new market data. The district found that school districts “have made significant adjustments” to pay rates since last looking at data in January.
He said the two sides also reached an agreement on how the 75th percentile range for salaries for each position is calculated, adding that language to the contract so it’s not a topic for debate in future negotiations.
“We’re all on the same page,” Price said. “That was really important to us.”
At the association’s request, the district will use the $300,000 it was planning to spend on eight “floater” positions to cover jobs when people are out sick for pay rate increases. The total cost of the compensation package for hourly employees wasn’t available.
Another change is employee compensation now will be discussed every two years instead of yearly. For in between years, the district will provide the same cost-of-living increase that’s given to all employees and negotiations will only include non-compensation contract issues.
Boulder Daily Camera
www.dailycamera.com , https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailycamera.com%2F2022%2F09%2F21%2Fbvsd-hourly-workers-district-reach-contract-agreement%2F , Education,Latest Headlines,Local News,News,Boulder Valley School District, #BVSD #hourly #workers #reach #contract #agreement