Ann Arbor school board approves 3 employee contracts to save $266K
The Ann Arbor Board of Education on Wednesday voted to approve tentative agreements with the district's final three collective bargaining units, for a total general fund savings of $266,000.
The ASCSA and AFSCME memberships both agreed to unpaid furlough days to equal the 3 percent cut from their unions, while the principals union negotiated a 3 percent cut to its members' compensation, which Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources and Legal Services David Comsa said includes salary and other supplemental pay that the principals receive.
The contracts were not released to the public Wednesday following the regular school board meeting at 7 p.m., at which the tentative agreements were approved.
No details about the contract amendments were provided during the meeting. School officials declined to answer questions about the details of the agreements, other than to say the 3 percent expected concessions were met.
Comsa said because the agreements were tentative, the language of the contracts has to be cleaned up and proofread before the documents can "go to the printers" for printing. He said because everyone is gone from school for summer vacation, this process may take a little longer than usual. He anticipates the contracts will be available online for the public by the end of July, he said.
AnnArbor.com has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the tentative agreements as approved Wednesday by the school board.
The district's three other major employee unions — the Ann Arbor Education Association, the AAEA Paraeducators and the AAEA Office Professionals — agreed to take 3 percent, one-year pay cuts in March.
The non-affiliated employees of the Ann Arbor Public Schools also agreed to reduce their salaries by 3 percent in April. These staff members included Superintendent Patricia Green's 10 executive cabinet members, executive secretaries, department directors and crew chiefs. This group of non-collective bargaining personnel saved the AAPS $114,290. The AAEA saved Ann Arbor $3.2 million.
The Ann Arbor Board of Education already had banked on the nearly $270,000 in concessions from the three remaining collective bargaining units, when on June 13 it approved its general fund operating budget for 2013-14. However, the number reflected in the budget was a $270,000 estimate. The board voted Wednesday to adjust that number in the district's financial statements to have them show the more accurate $266,000 figure.
In order to do this, the board had to approve spending about $3,000 more of its fund equity, or primary savings account, than it first agreed to on June 13.
The board also had to authorize using an additional $380,000 in equity — on top of the $3,000 — to correct an arithmetic error that school trustees and officials overlooked on June 13 in the budget vote pertaining to charging students for seventh hour.
These budget adjustments passed 4-2, with trustees Simone Lightfoot and Christine Stead voting "no" and Andy Thomas absent. Lightfoot and Stead did not agree with dipping further into the district's fund equity, which will be below $6 million next year.
The final amount of fund equity being used by the Ann Arbor Public Schools to balance the budget is now $1.56 million, instead of the $1.18 million that was approved during the budget discussion two weeks ago.