Home News Local News School board approves 7% raise for custodial staff

School board approves 7% raise for custodial staff

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From left, Board President Alan Gedde and Secretary Dr. Kathleen Pittman are pictured and Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy addresses the item regarding salaries at a Roswell Independent School District special meeting on Tuesday morning. (Alison Penn Photo)

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At an approximately 8-minute-long meeting, the Roswell Independent School District (RISD) school board approved a 7% pay increase and a step increase for custodial, maintenance and security staff.

Board Members Mona Kirk, Board President Alan Gedde and Secretary Dr. Kathleen Pittman were present for the meeting on Tuesday morning. Vice President Ruben Sanchez was present telephonically and Board Member James Edwards was absent.

Kirk made the motion, Pittman seconded and the vote was 4-0 in favor.

RISD Superintendent Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy said the negotiated revision to the collective bargaining agreement with the Communication Workers of America Local 7070 (CWA) union included an “excess of 7% by a small margin” with a step increase for each individual in those departments.

As provided in the meeting’s agenda, Article 17 of the collective bargaining agreement states that new hires, as well as employees at the maximum step, will not be included in the step increase.

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“The only other thing I would like to add on that is, that this pay is retroactive, so it goes back to July …” McIlroy said. “Because when the union did not ratify, we were immediately required by labor law to revert back to the last collective bargaining agreement. We had no option on that.

“And actually, it was quite a source of problem for our business office because payroll was going out in like two days, and so they had to go in and completely recalculate every single one of those members. But it was required by law to do that.”

Chad Cole, assistant superintendent of finance and operations, said the employees will see the “difference” made up during the remaining pay periods of this year. Cole said the union and district are discussing sending out a “joint statement” to inform employees about the changes.

Brian Byrd, assistant superintendent of talent management, and Cole said one of the changes made was to give employees five uniform shirts, pants and a jacket — and not provide work boots or extra options as was previously done. Cole said this was to avoid a “taxable fringe benefit” for employees.

For other revisions, fiscal year dates were changed and McIlroy said some language was added about some professional licensure to “attract” licensed professionals, such as electricians and plumbers.

At the meeting on Nov. 12, a middle school custodian and other public speakers questioned the district about why custodial, maintenance and security staff had three pay periods with a 6% increase approved by the New Mexico Legislature, and then it was taken away.

In previous Daily Record coverage, McIlroy explained the collective bargaining agreement for the raises was not ratified in two separate opportunities by CWA. She said the district paid out the raises in “good faith.” But upon refusal, the district was required to return to the original agreement and salaries until an agreement was reached. She said additional negotiations happened on Nov. 8 and on Nov. 12.

In other businesses, the board unanimously approved to accept a $5,000 donation from Max Harral Trust to be used for travel expenses for the Goddard High School Future Farmers of America chapter.

Special projects reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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