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CCSD BOE approves 3-year OAPSE contract; Covid bonus pay for all staff

June 28, 2022

The Canton City School District Board of Education on Tuesday approved a new three-year contract for classified staff that includes pay raises. Following negotiations with the three Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) unions within Canton City Schools, members of Locals 107, 161, and 609 will get a pay hike of 3.5 percent in year one and a 3.0 percent pay increase in year two of the three-year agreement. Year three will be equivalent to the negotiated pay increase in the next contract for the Canton Professional Educators Association.

Superintendent Jeff Talbert offered his thanks to the OAPSE union leadership and negotiation teams who worked together on the newly approved contracts.

Julie Langanke, president of Local 161 which represents all support staff with the exception of custodians, bus drivers, and lunchroom staff, said consideration and cooperation from both the board representation and OAPSE allowed them to successfully negotiate a contract that benefits everyone.

“We were able to work well with the board’s negotiating team to reach a fair agreement for our members and the overwhelming vote for the new contract at the ratification meeting shows that they too agree,” she wrote in a statement.

Ira Essner, President of Local OAPSE Local 609 representing lunchroom workers said he also sees the contract as a fair and reasonable one that benefits both the Union and the District. 

“The district recognized the union members have gone above and beyond during the pandemic to continue to provide healthy meals for our students, both at school and home. That recognition resulted in increased wages and enhanced working conditions,” Essner said. “The Union and the District have a good working relationship, based on mutual respect.”

OAPSE agreed to an increase in healthcare costs of 8.5 percent in year one, 9.5 percent in year two, and 10.5 percent in year three. Also, adjustments were made to the duties required of elementary secretaries and educational assistants. 

This contract takes effect July 1 of this year and concludes June 30, 2025.

The board also approved a $750 Covid bonus to all employees. The money will be allocated in the 2023 fiscal year out of the district’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.

Talbert said he was pleased to recommend that all employees of the district, with the exception of himself and the treasurer, receive a one-time bonus. The payment, he said, is an acknowledgment and show of appreciation for dedication and diligence in keeping the schools open during the pandemic.

“Our staff members worked tirelessly to ensure our buildings were open and that students and families received the education and services they needed during a very precarious time in our history,” Talbert said. “From teachers and administrators to our support staff, transportation, food service, and custodial staff, we all worked together to be as safe as possible while providing both face-to-face and virtual opportunities, based on individual needs. This is a token of our thanks that we are able to provide.”