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Symmes Valley, OAPSE union reach agreement

AID TOWNSHIP — The union representing Symmes Valley bus drivers, cooks and other non-teaching employees have ratified a new contract with the district. The agreement that covers 29 members of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees now goes to the school board for approval.

The contract calls for a $650 signing bonus but no pay increases for two years due to the district’s budget uncertainties.

Representative Karen Bailey said the certified staff agreed to forego the pay hikes “with the understanding that other employees will step up to the plate and do the same thing, especially administrators.”

The vote tally was 13 in favor of the new pact and 11 against, Bailey said.

“We’re pleased to get this behind us,” Superintendent Jeff Saunders said. “I think there are some good in the contract for both sides.”

Saunders said the board could meet in special session in the near future to sign the contract; otherwise it is likely to get attention at its April board meeting.

The two sides had been in negotiations since July.