Board of Education, Unions Negotiate Bonuses for Work in the Pandemic

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The Saline Board of Education and two of its unions agreed to one-time, lump-some payments worth approximately $1.3 million.

Earlier in September, the Saline Board of Education voted 6-0 (Trustee Dennis Valenti was absent) to approve amendments to the Saline Educational Association and the Educational Support Personnel.

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Curt Ellis explained that each qualifying employee will receive $1,500 in two equal payments that will be made in December and next June.

The total cost to the district is $1.27 million and it will be funded with federal COVID-19 funds.

"It was very important to all parties that certified and classified staff all feel valued and respected by the district for the extra work they continue to do during the pandemic," Ellis said.

Superintendent Steve Laatsch said the district's staff has done great work in the face of obstacles, challenges and increased demands during the pandemic.

"We look at it from the standpoint of all the additional work and preparation that our staff has had to do - teachers and support staff," Laatsch said. 

In addition, with the labor market being what it is, and with many employers offering hiring bonuses and increased wages, the district felt the need to reward employees.

"We want to keep our staff loyal and keep them here," Laatsch said.

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