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Kat-Lewisboro Schools Settle Contract With Support Staff

CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – The Katonah-Lewisboro Board of Education and the Katonah-Lewisboro Support Staff Association (KLSSA) have agreed on a new contract, resolving nearly six years of negotiations.

The members of the KLSSA have been working under the terms and conditions of a contract that expired June 30, 2006.

The new agreement calls for a wage increase that would have averaged 2.1 percent per year beginning with the 2006-07 school year.  However, those wages are not being paid retroactively. Instead, a one-time payment will be made for the current calendar year. But in the new agreement, increases in employee contributions to health care premiums will drive down the net impact of the increase in salary. The net increase of the new contract represents a 1.35 percent yearly increase over the term of the agreement. The agreement does not carry a financial impact to the current year’s budget, nor will it impact next year’s budget, since a hard freeze is in place for the 2012-13 school year.

The average KLSSA member reportedly earns a salary of approximately $40,000 per year.

“KLSSA members are critical to the success and security of our district,” said Mark Lipton, board of education president. “They are our bus drivers, monitors, teaching aides and assistants, custodians and office staff, and provide many other services in support roles. This is a good settlement for the members and for the taxpayers of the community.” Lipton thanked Superintendent Paul Kreutzer, Assistant Superintendent Mike Jumper, and KLSSA President Jeani Granelli “for their hard work and leadership.”

A number of changes to the contract were agreed upon by both parties, including a conversion to a percentage contribution for health care premiums from a flat-dollar contribution, which results a higher contribution level for members.

“Our members overwhelmingly approved this new contract,” said Jeani Granelli, president of the KLSSA. “We’re pleased to have worked in spirit of great cooperation and collegiality with Dr. Kreutzer, Mr. Jumper, and the board of education. These are difficult times for school districts and our members, but we will continue to work together in the interest of the students and residents of the district.”

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