IRON RIVER—A tentative agreement on a new labor agreement has been reached between the West Iron County schools and its teaching staff.
School Board members learned about the agreement, which had been reached the week before, during an executive session held at the end of their July 15 regular meeting. No action was taken.
The old contract with West Iron’s teachers had expired in June 2012. A state mediator was used during the negotiations, which began in July 2012.
“There have been so many state law changes over the last two years,” said Superintendent Chris Thomson. “A lot of issues needed to be resolved due to the law changes that occurred in the state.”
No details about the tentative agreement have been announced. That information won’t be released until after contract language is approved by both sides and the Education Association’s members ratify the contract.
In March, West Iron County administrators ratified a new labor agreement with its non-teaching staff. That one runs through June 2015.
• The board heard Finance Chairman Rob Possanza report that the district ended up spending 87 percent of what it had budgeted for 2012-13. “Everybody did a great job,” he said. Even with several bills still to be paid, “We’re still going to come around 92 percent of our expenditures, saving about eight percent.
“That’s fantastic compared to years when we spend 95, 96, 97 percent.”
Possanza said his committee is now producing a monthly report on how sinking fund revenue is being used. Also, a separate technology fund will be developed.
• The district has kept the Community Schools in its budget since 2008, even though the program has largely been inactive. At the July 15 meeting, the board decided to disburse most of its $49,000 budget balance: $22,500 for technology and $22,500 for transportation/bus purchase
The remaining $4,000 will stay in the renamed “community services” fund, which still handles GED testing, Great Eight Games, day care and tot lot. “Most of it is money in and money out,” said Possanza. “It’s pretty much a wash.”
• In other business, the board:
--Heard a update from Thomson about the conversion of the former locker rooms to conference rooms in the elementary building. Work is in progress.
--Approved the purchase of a new server and a larger storage unit from Teck Solutions at a total cost of $11,600. Thomson noted that the district is often near its storage capacity.
--Approved a number of NEOLA policies.