Galion board, teachers reach deal

The Galion school board approved a contract with the teachers’ union Thursday morning. Pictured from left to right: Board member Bob Zeisler, Treasurer Charlene Parkinson, Board President Jennifer Kuns and Superintendent Mark Stefanik.

The Galion Board of Education unanimously approved a collective bargaining agreement with the Galion Education Association this morning.

The contract is effective Aug. 15, 2014 through Aug. 14, 2016. It includes a 2 percent increase on the base pay, which equates to an increase from $29,747 to $30,949 for the 2015-2016 school year.

Superintendent Mark Stefanik thanked the school board members, who all participated in the negotiation process.

GEA membership had voted to accept the tentative agreement on Wednesday.

“It’s a big relief,” GEA spokesperson Kim Chandler said. “This is a fair and respectful contract. Board President Jennifer Kuns made a great effort; we appreciate her stepping up and being community minded.”

The final step is for the GEA and administration to sign the final draft of the contract.

A resolution for a tax levy renewal was also approved. The county auditor certified that the five-year renewal would generate $1.2 million per year for the district’s operating expenses.

“We are not asking for new money and this is much needed,” Kuns commented.

The district will file in August to put the renewal issue on the November ballot.

The board also approved a two-year administrative contract with Kyle Baughn as Assistant High School Principal/Athletic Director, effective July 1. He was previously employed at the district as a Middle School math teacher.

A supplemental contract with Baughn, not to exceed 20 days, was also approved to cover some work before his contract begins, primarily conducting coach interviews.

Colby Bright was approved as head basketball coach. Baughn, who attended the meeting, said they are currently interviewing for a girls basketball coach and a softball coach.

A contract with SC Strategic Solutions was approved. The company will scan all hard copies of student records into an electronic format.

Treasurer Charlene Parkinson explained that the district currently stores records in the basement, which makes them vulnerable to damage. She noted that the electronic system will make locating documents much easier and they will be able to redact sensitive information.

There are an estimated 650,000 pages of student records alone. Strategic Solutions will charge the district 8 cents per copy, totaling $52,000. It will also store the data off-site.

The Galion school board’s next regular meeting is June 16 at 6:30 p.m.

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