District 621 School Board approves contract with paraprofessional union

The Mounds View School Board approved the proposed contract between the district and the Paraprofessional Union of School Services Employees, Local 282 at its Tuesday, March 11 board meeting.

Amy Jo Johnson, District 621 employee relations and benefits manager, said the district had met with union members on seven separate occasions and she recommended that the board approve the contract as ratified by the paraprofessional union on Feb. 27.

“We feel that this contract has met all of the goals set forth by the board. We were able to maintain consistency in our settlements across all of our groups,” Johnson said. “We have limited our legacy costs. We will be able to maintain our current programming and we believe that this package is competitive for recruitment purposes.”

Johnson outlined some of the major contract points, which include: a salary increase of 3 percent in year one and 2 percent in year two; adding single dental, life and long-term disability insurance benefits for eligible employees in year two and a negotiated one-time payment that does not create ongoing legacy costs.

Overall, the total contract represents a 5.24 percent increase over the two-year period.

Board member Jon Tynjala said the board is fully aware and appreciative of the hard work that paraprofessionals do in classrooms on a daily basis.

“They are absolutely vital to the accomplishment of our mission as a district and we very much appreciate all of the hard work that they do. We’re pleased and glad that this is all settled and we can all move on and go from there,” he said. 

Makeup day added to calendar

Also at the March 11 board meeting, board members added a makeup day to the district’s calendar to meet minimum instructional hours required under state statutes. The decision was in response to the Feb. 21 snowstorm that closed schools across the metro.

The board approved Friday, June 6 as a makeup day, which will be the last day of class for students in the district, provided there are no more weather-related cancellations.

In January, the board approved three additional instructional days due to bitterly cold temperatures that resulted in classes being cancelled on four occasions earlier in the winter. 

The instructional days previously added are Monday, Feb. 17 (Presidents Day), Friday, April 4 and Friday, May 23. Those Fridays were originally scheduled as professional development days for teachers and off days for students.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824.


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