Upper St. Clair School District and the Upper St. Clair Special Service Federation recently ratified a new five-year collective bargaining agreement effective Sept. 1, 2020, through June 30, 2025. The current contract expires Aug. 31.
“The union negotiation team was tremendous to work with. Our staff really appreciated their professionalism, understanding and collaboration,” Superintendent John Rozzo said. “We are proud to have reached an agreement that is mutually beneficial and fair to both sides as well as to the community.”
Following ratification by USCSSF members, Upper St. Clair School Board unanimously approved the new agreement on July 6. The classified union represents 155 workers, including custodians, maintenance, mechanics, teacher aides, secretaries and nutrition center staff.
Salary increases throughout the five-year contract range from 1.5% to three%, with an overall average of 2.35%.
“We appreciate the union’s understanding of our financial conditions particularly during the 2020-21 budget, which enabled our district to pass a budget that safeguards our educational programs,” Rozzo said. “Now, more than ever before, the work of this unit is critical to the health and wellbeing of our students and staff.”
The school district established several goals for the contract to recruit and retain highly qualified employees.
“We did have a number of objectives that aligned with the goals of the special federation and those were around rewarding performance, attendance and service with the district. We also were looking to be able to recruit top talent and invest in safety,” Ray Carson, senior director of operations and administrative services, said. “The negotiating teams worked cooperatively to achieve each and every one of those goals.”
Representatives of the union’s negotiating team attended the school board meeting to share their appreciation for the process and effort from all involved.
“Both sides approached negotiations determined to try to get something done before the summer arrived, only to be a little more than surprised by the events of COVID and the school closures,” Walt Michalski, American Federation of Teachers Pennsylvania staff representative, said. “The discussions were always meaningful and we appreciate how the team came and represented the board. A lot of times, we’ll hear at the table that the board and the administration appreciate the work of the unit, but you guys showed it as well in how you really put your shoulder to the wheel and worked to get things done.”
Jim Snowden, federation president, also expressed his gratitude for the work of the negotiating teams and district in reaching the five-year agreement:
“On behalf of the union, we would like to thank the district and negotiating team for their efforts in getting this contract done.”