BRPS extends contracts for administrators, non-affiliate staff

BIG RAPIDS – Seventeen Big Rapids Public Schools employees received one-year contract extensions with the board of education’s approval on Monday.

The board unanimously approved contract extensions under the same terms for administrators and employees who are not affiliated with a union, such as central office support staff and employees in the technology department.

BRPS Superintendent Tim Haist

“There’s no increase of salary or benefits,” said Superintendent Tim Haist, whose contract is negotiated separately. “They work extremely hard, and it’s nice to be able to give them the comfort of that extension at least.”

Board members went into closed session on Monday to continue contract negotiations for members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, which includes custodians, cafeteria employees and bus drivers at BRPS.

At a special meeting on March 27, the board tied in a vote on whether to approve a proposed contract for those employees. The stalemate was in response to threats from state lawmakers to withhold funding from districts that approved employee contracts before Michigan’s Right to Work law went into effect on March 28, thereby skirting the law that grants employees the chance to opt out of union membership.

“That’s not an issue anymore so we can focus on what’s best for our employees,” Haist said.

During the special meeting, the board thanked AFSCME leadership for its willingness to continue negotiations, which will move forward at the next board meeting.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the board approved a resolution to continue participating in Schools of Choice, an agreement that schools will accept students from beyond their geographical boundaries.

The board will meet again at 6:30 p.m. on May 13 at the high school media center.

 

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