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AUBURN — The Auburn Enlarged City School District Board of Education Tuesday approved a three-year contract for the Auburn Educational Secretaries and Paraprofessionals Association (AESPP), a union made up of approximately 160 secretaries, clerks, teacher aides and cafeteria monitors.

The contract, effective today, will give the employees a 3.35-percent raise in salary for each of the two first years of the contract and a flat 3-percent raise in the third year, said board president Charlie Cator.

In return for the salary increases, employees covered by the contract will gradually pay a higher percentage on their health insurance premiums. In the first year, their contributions will go from 10 percent to 10.5 percent; in the second year, the percentage will rise to 11.5; and in year three, the employees will pay 12.5 percent, Cator said.

“These are our lowest-paid employees in the district,” he said.

Cator said the district’s goal is to eventually have all employees paying 15 percent of their health insurance premiums. The AESPP employees make so little that increasing their premiums to 15 percent right away would be unfair, Cator said. Instead, a gradual increase over several years is more appropriate.

Cator said the contract will cost the district a net of 2.23 percent over three years, a reasonable increase, he said. This figure is less than what the district business office originally projected.

“We’re very happy, they’re pleased with it,” he said. “The net for the district is a good number.”

Meg Yurco, union president, said the group believed the contract was fair, especially in the current economy.

“We feel it was a fair contract,” she said. “We’re going to have to pay a little more on health insurance, but we got a small raise.”

Cator said the union’s former contract expired yesterday.

“These are all good employees,” he said. “I’m glad we got this done.”

Staff writer Kelly Voll can be reached at 282-2239 or kelly.voll@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at CitizenVoll.

 

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