Friday, June 23, 2000

Staffers can choose district

School board changes contract

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        MIDDLETOWN — Nonteaching employees in Middletown and Monroe schools will be able to choose in which district they want to work after approval this week of a contract change by the Middletown Board of Education.

        The change allows cooks, secretaries, aides, clerks, bus drivers and others to pick their district once the deconsolidation effort concludes by month's end.

        Monroe voters in March approved formation of their own school district by splitting from Middletown. “This provides for a fairly smooth transition, and people will still be working,” said Sonya Schwaller, a stock clerk and president of the Middletown Classified Employee Association. “That's what we were pushing for. A lot of people worked long and hard on this agreement. They (membership) felt it was fair.”

        The agreement is very similar to one reached with the teaching staff last month, said Edmund Pokora, Middletown treasurer and transition team member. Under the pact, employees can stay in their current jobs or ask to be transferred to the other district. Decisions will be based on openings and seniority. The agreement allows transfers throughout the year as openings occur.

        A provision for transportation workers gives priority to those displaced by the Peterman Co., the firm Monroe is negotiating with to provide bus service.

        The agreement has been approved by the Monroe Educational Association, which represents both teaching and nonteaching staff, and by the Monroe school board.


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