OSCODA – The Oscoda Area Schools (OAS) Board of Education met for a special meeting on Friday, June 28, and approved the Oscoda Education Association (OEA) and Oscoda Secretarial Association (OSA) contracts.

According to Superintendent Scott Moore, changes were made to Articles 1, 2, 5, 7, 13-15, 17 and 23. According to Director of Finance Sean Pear, the OEA agreed to a 1 percent increase in salary schedules including the extra-curricular salary schedule. The main changes to the contract dealt with clarification, elimination and minor changes.

In article 1(A) recognition, language was modified to say that the association is recognized as the exclusive bargaining representative for classroom teachers operating under alternative certificates and excludes the coordinator of curriculum, instruction and content coach.

Article 2(L) association and teacher rights and responsibilities changed the language to require teachers to notify their building principal of any alleged or suspected hazardous working conditions and a requirement that teachers concerns with a principal’s approach to handling the incident be addressed through round table meetings.

In article 5(3A&B) teaching hours and class loads, it removed the principals’ ability to choose a schedule that has a weekly 40 minute meeting on the same week as the monthly 60 minute meeting. In article 5(B&D) it clarified preparation time stating “the time before students start school in the morning will not be counted as individual preparation time for regular classroom instructors (excludes special area teachers) under Sections B and D below. Special areas shall be provided with relief and preparation/conference time to the same extent as other teachers in the District.”  In article 5(H) it  clarified that teachers will receive payment if they are assigned to a role as an Individual Educational Program Coordinator.

In article 7(B1) teaching conditions – elementary, it clarified language which holds the district responsible for hiring a teacher’s aid in the event that a grade level exceeds by 20 students the recommended number of students for four teachers. Additionally, article 7(2B-D5) clarified overload payments and calculations.

Article 13(B) in regards to the school calendar added that the OEA president will be notified of the intent to make up Act of God days by extending the end of the school year. Article 14(M) changed the rate of pay for teacher’s placed in a classroom as a substitute during their preparation period from the district’s rate to the teacher’s per diem rate.

Article 15 on insurance protection increased the district’s payment toward health insurance premiums to the state hard cap amount for the 2019-20 school year. Additionally, article 17(D) titled employer support of student discipline and teacher protection modified language in regards to reimbursing teachers for personal property damaged during the performance of their duties.

The final change took place in article 23(I1&2) miscellaneous provisions and focused on changing the language regarding a  teacher’s notification for the need of absence. It states, “teachers shall report their unavailability for work when the absence is attributable to sicknesses regulated by article 8 by 6 a.m. Teachers shall be excused from compliance with this requirement if they can show good cause why timely notification was not possible. Teachers shall provide at least 10 business days notice to the district when needing to be absent for reasons regulated by article 9( B&C).”

Prior to the meeting, the OSA completed their contact negotiations and ratified their contract on Tuesday, June 25. According to Director of Finance Sean Pear, The OSA agreed to a 1 percent increase with potential for a 2 percent increase if enrollment and revenue are within a certain range. 

He also said that adjusted health care caps to the state maximum have also been integrated. In terms of the contract itself, the main changes took place in articles 12, 18 and 19 for verbiage. In article 12(2) paid leave of absence under bereavement days it clarified that all days will be deducted from sick leave.

In article 18(E) hours of work it states that OSA members will receive an unpaid 30 minute lunch and will no longer be able to earn compensatory time, but instead will be paid overtime at the time the extra hours are worked. In article 19(A) unscheduled school closing it clarifies that on Act of God days (better known as snow days) OSA members can have their schedule extended due to Act of God days for student days that are required to be made up. 

A final change took place in article 19(C) which clarified that in the event of a delayed start to the school day, OSA members would report to school at their normal start time unless directed otherwise. Further, if students are sent home early OSA members would continue  to work the remainder of the day unless authorized to leave early.