After working nearly 18 months without a contract, the 267-member union (Local 95-02-11-8) has agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement with the . The B-W School Board's 8-0 vote to approve the agreement on Wednesday night made the contract official.
School board member George L. Pry was absent.
The agreement runs from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2014, meaning that the contract, which gives service workers a 3-percent pay increase, will be backdated to July 1, 2010.
Since the union agreed to a wage freeze from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, the backdated pay that must be made up by the school district comes only since July 1, 2011. BWSEA President Toni Yurkovic said that the district has 60 days to pay that backdated, owed money to its service workers.
"I hope we made history tonight in that we don't have a contract drag out again for two years before it's ratified," board member Larry Pantuso said.
Yurkovic said that 202 of the 267 district service workers, or 76 percent of them, voted "yes" for the new contract before it reached the school board.
Yurkovic said that ridding the union's previous agreement with the district of contradictory language in many places was the main reason that it took 18 months to negotiate for a new one.
"I was very happy," Yurkovic said. "It was really good. We (union representatives and district administrators) were all friendly with each other."
Check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch on Thursday for more odds and ends from Wednesday night's school board meeting.