School workers' pact includes wage freeze

Grand Haven Area Public Schools and the union for its bus drivers, food service employees and custodial staff have agreed to a one-year contract extension and wage freeze.
Krystle Wagner
Mar 28, 2013


The school board approved the contract on Wednesday. It impacts 109 members of the Service Employees International Union Local 517M.

Van drivers will also be added to the union because they are being used more frequently to transport small numbers of students.

Scott Grimes, the school system's assistant superintendent of human services, said the one-year pact will save the district about $49,000.

“They’ve been very understanding in these difficult economic conditions, and always have the best interest of the school district in mind during negotiations," Grimes said of the union local.

The contract is valid through the next school year. It will end June 30, 2014.

In August 2012, the union and school district settled on a contract that included a wage freeze, 10 percent wage reductions for food service employees, and 20 percent health care and modifications in insurance plans. That contract would have ended June 30.

Ray Clover, president of Unit 16/Local 517M, said they work to negotiate for the betterment of the district and try to keep "sticking points" similar to other unions.

Superintendent Keith Konarska said he believes the district’s employee union groups understand the current funding situation facing schools throughout Michigan.



Consider yourselves lucky GHAPS employees that they did not privatize like Spring Lake Public Schools did and sent 12 custodians to the unemployment line and were willing to negotiate a compromise/settlement. At least GHAPS were willing to negotiate a settlement so you could keep your jobs. Spring Lake Public Schools on the other hand didn't really care about the livelihood of 12 custodians. Top Administrators just wanted to get back at the Union there even though the Union was willing to make huge concessions. But it fell unto deaf ears. And top Administrators got to put a feather in their caps.


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