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Tuesday, March 26 , 2019, 2:31 am | Fair 48º


Orcutt School Board OKs Wage Hikes for Labor Unions

Members of three employee groups in the Orcutt Union School District will receive 5 percent raises plus a 2 percent one-time payout, according to agreements hammered out recently.

With negotiations settled, the Orcutt district board of trustees on Wednesday approved bargaining agreements with the Orcutt Educators Association, the California School Employees Association, and confidential and management employees.

The raises for the certificated, classified and management bargaining units are effective retroactively to July 1.

OEA President Monique Segura said the members of her union voted unanimously for the new pact.

“Negotiations went relatively painlessly,” Orcutt CSEA President Rich Jensen added.

Board member Rob Buchanan said he appreciated the efforts made by all sides to get an agreement.

“I’m glad we were able to come to agreement. I’m glad we had some money,” Buchanan said.

He added that he was disappointed class size wasn’t part of the agreements, since “a lot of rhetoric in the last 30 days” arose during the recent campaign where the three incumbents — Buchanan, Bob Hatch and Jim Peterson — were re-elected over challenger Eric Melsheimer.

“I’d like to make sure we try to do something about that for next year,” Buchanan added.

The hikes in salaries and benefits will add $1.9 million to the district budget plus $246,060 for health and welfare costs.

The agreements are for the current year only.

The board also agreed Wednesday to purchase new cameras for school buses. Approximately half of the district’s fleet is already equipped with cameras under a program started a number of years ago, Superintendent Deborah Blow said.

The district discovered it would cost less to install the cameras after it buys buses instead of purchasing the new vehicles with the cameras already in place.

District officials said the main reason for having cameras on buses is the safety of students and staff.

“I think it’s a great idea,” board member Jan Zilli said before the unanimous vote to purchase the cameras.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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