APS board okay’s a pair of settlement packages

Published 5:13 pm Friday, October 15, 2021

The Austin Public Schools Board on Tuesday voted in favor of a pair of package settlements for the paraprofessionals and custodial staff in the district.

The board agreed to an 11.8% increased package settlement with Minnesota School Employees Association — ParaEducators while also agreeing to a 7.68% total package increase with the Custodian and Engineers Union.

Director of Educational Services John Alberts, who along with Executive Director of Finance and Operations Lori Volz and Human Resources Director Sue Stark served on the district’s negotiating team, said that in particular the district is battling with competition pressures to hire paraprofessionals.

“We’re trying to raise up that starting salary knowing we are competing against other jobs in the community,” Alberts said. “We’re taking a look at those other units and see why we’re falling behind.”

By putting a little more salary on the table, Alberts said the district is hoping to be more of a draw for paraprofessionals.

Alberts also said that the paraprofessional’s settlement will reflect changes to other upcoming contracts in an effort to recruit and retain in all areas.