Details of UAW Contract with Ferndale Schools

Details of UAW Contract with Ferndale SchoolsToms Custom Painting Ad

(Ferndale Schools Press Release, Jan. 20, 2014)

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Ferndale Schools is currently negotiating with all unions in hopes of wage concessions.  Read a letter from School Board President Jim O’Donnell at http://oaklandcounty115.com/2014/01/19/letter-from-ferndale-school-board-president-jim-odonnell-on-budget/, and a story on picketing at the School Board meeting at http://oaklandcounty115.com/2014/01/14/proposed-pay-cuts-to-teachers-and-staff-spark-protest-at-ferndale-schools/.  The union agreement below could be an indication of agreements that may be made with other employees.

UAW Local 889 has reached an agreement with the Board of Education on a new collective bargaining agreement through December 31, 2017.

The agreement, approved unanimously by the full Board at the January 13, 2014

gallowaycollens1School Board Meeting, will provide the district with $73,710 in immediate budgetary relief.

The 48 UAW members accepted a wage reduction of 7.38% from January 1 to June 30, 2014. Additionally, the agreement calls for 2.5 vacant positions to remain unfilled.

Effective July 1, 2014, a 4% wage reduction of the original (July 1, 2013) base rate will go into effect. Step increases will also begin July 1, 2014, a first for this UAW unit. As a result of these two changes, as of July 1, 2014, UAW employees will be returned to their base July 1, 2013 rate. Language was also included in the contract that triggers employee wage increases if enrollment and/or the state foundation allowance experience an increase. Additional compensation will also be provided if a pending pupil accounting appeal is found in favor of the district.

The Ferndale Public Schools have been hit hard by state funding cuts in recent years, compounded bysidebar01reader_support the enrollment loss of more than 350 students this fall compared to projected enrollment, creating a $2.4-million shortfall in this year’s district budget, according to Superintendent Gary Meier.

The new contract agreement was touted by School Board members and the UAW Local 889 President Tom Brenner who negotiated the agreement. Brenner said, “I feel

I have a great working relationship with everyone in Ferndale from Mr. Meier on down.

The mutual respect we have for each other helps us to resolve difficult situations and rise out of them to best serve the students in the district.” Brenner added, “It is a sacrifice for my members for the remainder of this school year, but we’re helping the district with their financial crisis, and moving forward for a better district and a better union. This sacrifice now will definitely benefit us over the course of the contract.”

Board President Jim O’Donnell said “The School Board acknowledges the sacrifice that its employees are dinos02sidelogo3making this year and truly respects the job they do every day for our students. We are grateful for the understanding of our UAW local membership and we look forward to working with them to boost enrollment and to fight for fair funding from the state school aid budget. The Board also appreciates the way the

Superintendent Gary Meier and Interim HR Director Meg McMahon negotiated on our behalf. We asked them and the UAW to accomplish a difficult assignment.”

Superintendent Gary W. Meier said, “This is a tremendous win-win situation for our district. We appreciate very much the courage and willingness of the UAW to work with us to invest in the future of the district. In my 30 years as a superintendent, I must say this willingness to entertain discussions of a cost-saving measure such as this one is not always present. I thank the UAW leadership and the membership for their collaborative efforts.”

The UAW Local 889 represents 48 employees who serve as media, bus, and instructional aides, as well as latchkey leaders and assistants across the district. The Ferndale Schools administration is continuing to negotiate with its other represented units.

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