By Tessa Raebeck
The Sag Harbor Custodial Association and the Sag Harbor School District have made a contract agreement that provides for minimal salary increases over the next three years.
The memorandum, which was approved at the Sag Harbor Board of Education meeting June 3, changes several components of the previous contract.
The former contract expired June 30, 2012. Without an official contract during the 2012 to 2013 school year, no wage increases were made.
The term of the memorandum extends retroactively from July 1, 2012 until June 30, 2016.
For the 2013 to 2014 school year, custodial wages will increase by .5 percent. Wages will increase by another .5 percent for the 2014 to 2015 school year and by 1 percent for the 2015 to 2016 school year.
“This comprehensive agreement recognizes the hard work and valuable service the members of the unit give to the school district day in and day out,” said Dr. Carl Bonuso, the district’s interim superintendent.
“At the same time,” he continued. The agreement “recognizes the difficult fiscal times in which we live.”
All custodial employees are put on a 15-step salary plan. Employees advance by steps based on years of service.
During the 2012 to 2013 school year, an employee hired at step 1 received a starting salary of $36,263. After the .5 percent increase for the upcoming school year, that employee will receive $36,444 annually, provided they are not promoted to the next step.
Employees hired on or after July 1, 2013 will be placed on the same 15-step plan. The increments at which the wage increases on each step, however, have decreased. The value of step 1 is the same, but steps 2 through 6 will be based on a 1.25 percent increment and steps 7 through 15 will be based upon a .75 percent increment.
For example, an employee hired at step 15 prior to July 1, 2013 will earn $57,825 during the 2013 to 2014 school year. If hired on or after July 1, the same employee would earn $41,477.
Chris Tice, school board vice president, expressed gratitude to the custodial association for accepting the agreement.
“I understand that it was very respectful, very cooperative,” said Tice. “With a similar focus on creating an agreement that was respectful to the district and honored our employees.”
Citing the fiscal difficulties facing the district, Dr. Bonuso was also appreciative of the custodial leadership.
“The agreement between the parties shows the intent of all concerned to meet the challenges of today together,” he said.