July 30, 2013

Modesto City Schools' support staff set to vote on new contract next week

Modesto City Schools' 1,300 support staff will vote Aug. 8 on a new three-year contract.

Modesto City Schools' 1,300 support staff will vote Aug. 8 on a new three-year contract.

The district's deal with the California School Employees Association Modesto Chapter would restore salaries to pre-recession highs and eliminates furlough days except for preschool staff, according to materials prepared by the union.

Provisions of the contract include:

Discipline: The position of intervention coordinator is being created to do the boots-on-the-ground work of lowering suspension and expulsion rates. The grants-funded job entails meeting with affected families, doing reports on intervention efforts, training school staff and providing information to the community on programs to improve behavior and resolve conflicts.

Schools: Administrative assistant positions will replace principal secretaries at schools, said union President Aaron Castro. The new job duties include serving as a point person for public inquiries, tracking paperwork for substitutes and stipends, and serving as office manager.

Grounds: An additional groundskeeper will work half time at Gregori High and half time roving among schools.

District office: A new position of head custodian for the district office will replace the existing job. It will become a management position, no longer a part of the union, said Craig Rydquist, associate superintendent of human resources.

The deal marks an end to the impasse declared in April when the district was seeking more than 3 percent in permanent salary cuts and a number of other concessions. Since then, the state's higher revenue estimates and a boost in funding from the Local Control Funding Formula have improved Modesto City Schools' bottom line.

CSEA covers most non-teaching district employees, including bus drivers, secretaries, custodians and cafeteria workers.

Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at or (209) 578-2339, on Twitter, @NanAustin,

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