D.65 OKs custodian contract
Updated: February 19, 2013 1:25PM
Some 60 custodians in Evanston-Skokie School District 65 received pay hikes of 1 percent a year under a four-year contract approved Monday.
The contract is retroactive to July 1, 2012, and expires at the end of the 2015-16 school year, said Pat Markham, communications director for District 65.
The custodians provide maintenance and cleaning at 16 schools and the district’s early childhood center, the Joseph E. Hill Education Center, which also houses the administration, Markham said.
The pay increases are offset by a wide range of increases in employee contributions for Health Maintenance Organization insurance, she said.
Under the new contract, single employees will pay 11 percent of the cost, up from 10 percent under the previous contract, Markham said.
Employees who pay for HMO insurance for families will jump from 10 percent under the old contract to 28 percent under the new contract, she said.
“Except for the changes in salaries and benefits, this contract is more of an extension of the agreement the custodians already had,” Markham said. “Almost all of the terms are the same.”
In addition to the 1 percent hikes, the contract includes automatic step increases in pay each year for up to 14 years, she said. The contract also contains various classifications for the types of jobs each custodian performs, Markham said.
In the first year of the current contract, salaries range from $31,020 for first-year general custodians to $62,556 for skilled maintenance works with 14 years or more of experience, she said.
The previous contract is available for review on the district’s website, and the new contract will be added as soon as the final written version is completed, probably later this week, Markham said.
Custodians have worked without a contract since July because District 65 traditionally settles the teachers’ contract before finishing bargaining with its other four unions, she said.
“That’s just the traditional way we’ve done it,” Markham said. “Meetings with those bargaining units started before we complete the contract for teachers, but agreements were not reached until after the teachers.”
The teachers’ contract was settled in late August, she said. The district’s other three unions represent childcare professionals; teacher assistants; and secretaries, food service workers and information technology workers, Markham said.~.