School secretaries, parapros, agree to wage freeze 12.02.09

Written by David Green.

Morenci’s school secretaries and paraprofessionals agreed to a wage freeze starting Dec. 1 and continuing through June 30.

In exchange, board of education members agreed to an early retirement plan for the secretarial group, along with a change in insurance benefits for new hires.

Board members unanimously approved a letter of agreement with the group at a special meeting Monday.

Superintendent Kyle Griffith said the board has stood firm on withholding early retirement options unless wage concessions are made.

“From the start,” Griffith said, “this group has looked to take a freeze and they followed up on that commitment to help the district as it faces tough economic times.”

Other points from the agreement include:

• A laid-off secretary will be recalled from the bargaining unit to replace each secretary who chooses to resign and receive early retirement benefits;

• Each of the three school offices must retain at least one secretary at existing terms;

• New secretarial hires will only be eligible for insurance benefits equivalent to the district’s paraprofessionals;

• The board has the right to hire independent paraprofessionals to work in any school office to assist the secretary, but not to replace that position.

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