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Nazareth's Support Staff Union Submits Wage-Concession Proposal

The union that represents the district's custodial and maintenance workers submit a wage-concession proposal in response to the Nazareth School Board's plea for concessions.

The Nazareth Area School District has received a wage-concession proposal from custodial and maintenance workers, but the school board is still considering whether to accept it.

That announcement came from Superintendent Victor Lesky at Monday’s school board meeting. The local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters presented a proposal that offers some financial concessions for the 2012-13 budget year, though Lesky declined to provide specifics.

“It’s in negotiations; we cannot comment,” he said.

The Teamsters’ proposal came in response to a letter that Lesky, at the direction of the school board, sent union leaders in January. The board wants the union to agree to a wage freeze or at least reduced raises -- a “decrease in the increase,” as Lesky described it Monday, to help it balance a very tight budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Lesky sent a similar letter to the Nazareth Area Education Association, which represents the district’s teachers, but the teachers union has not submitted a proposal that merits serious consideration from the board, Lesky said.

The district’s was touched on briefly Monday, but the discussion will likely pick up steam at a board audit and finance committee meeting Tuesday evening. Part of that meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m., will be open to the public, though the board will need to recess to executive session to discuss possible teacher furloughs or other personnel matters, Lesky said Monday.

School Board President Lorin Bradley promised that board members would continue to “sharpen their pencils” as they explore ways that was included in the $69.2 million budget when the board gave it preliminary approval in January.

The administration will give a presentation of its final budget proposal to the school board and the public on May 14. The board plans to approve the budget in final form on May 21, well ahead of the June 30 deadline mandated by state law.

The budget takes effect from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.

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