Othello School Board approves classified employee contract

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OTHELLO — A motion to terminate an Othello School District classified employee died for lack of a second at the Monday meeting of the Othello School Board.

The case was discussed in an executive session prior to the regular meeting. Board members were asked to approve the termination of a classified employee at McFarland Middle School.

Board member Jenn Stevenson made the motion to approve the termination, which was seconded by board member Tyson Roylance, who was attending the meeting by phone.

Board member Ken Johnson asked if Roylance was aware of the circumstances around the recommendation. Roylance said he had the information, but since he hadn’t been at the executive session, he withdrew his second to the motion.

“There’s still a motion on the table,” said board chair Rob Simmons, but none of the remaining board members seconded, and the motion died. As a result, board members did not approve the recommendation.

Board members did approve a new three-year agreement between the district and the union representing classified employees. Johnson had asked for the agreement to be considered separately. “I will have to abstain from this vote, because my wife is a PSE member,” Johnson said.

“I will be joining Director Johnson, as my wife as well is part of the PSE,” said board member Mike Garza. The contract was approved on a 3-0 vote.

In the new contract salaries are determined by seniority and employees taking continuing education classes. The starting salary assumes the employee is a new hire with 14 continuing education credits or less. For the first year of the contract, the salary for a starting kitchen assistant would be $16.46 per hour; a classroom aide will make $16.79 per hour. A starting bus driver will make $21.66 per hour, and a starting custodian will make $20.77 per hour.

In the second year, a starting kitchen assistant will make $16.96 per hour, and the wage for a starting classroom aide will go to $17.29 per hour. A starting bus driver will make $22.31 per hour, and a starting custodian will make $21.39 per hour.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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