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South Point union talks lead to mediator’s assistance

Board proposes changes that meet SB5

SOUTH POINT — A federal mediator has been called in to resolve an impasse between the South Point school board and non-teaching personnel.

“We had a federal mediator come in and we made a proposal to the union,” Robert Cross of Cross Management Consulting Services, out of Portsmouth, said. Cross is the school board’s labor consultant.

The school employees are represented by the Ohio Association of Public School Employees/AFSCME Local 4.

Both sides had been in talks since July 13 with the impasse declared on Aug. 10. The current contract expired June 30.

“The board has proposed changes to 24 of the 37 articles found in the current agreement,” according to a release from OAPSE.

The union wanted a rollover of the current contract with no wage increases or benefit changes.

The board wanted to remove current bargaining unit positions from the contract and remove certain contract language, according to the union’s release.

“We proposed all the changes in place that are in Senate Bill 5,” Cross said. “That is the law until it is repealed. We proposed the same changes that were in the law.

“Under the law as long as the dispute resolution procedures have not been exhausted, the contract is still in place.”

According to Cross there are approximately 15 issues that are unresolved.

Cross declined to give any additional detail since the matter is still in negotiations.

Mike Salmons from the Federal Mediation and Conciliatory Services out of Columbus is the mediator in the dispute. The negotiations affect approximately 60 bus drivers, cooks, aides, custodians and secretaries.

The next meeting with the mediator is scheduled for Oct. 20.

A phone call made to the office of Karen Bailey of OAPSE was not returned by press time.