BENTE Union Update (12-21-21) -- Retro Pay, Staffing, General Updates

BENTE Union Update (12-21-21) -- Retro Pay, Staffing, General Updates
December 21, 2021

Sisters and Brothers, please take note of the following updates:    

HOLIDAY PAY: Please be advised that all BENTE members will be paid for Friday, December 24 (Christmas Eve), Monday, December 27 (Christmas Day), and December 31 (New Year’s Day).   

As per the new Collective Bargaining Agreement,10-month staff and 11-month staff can also utilize personal days during the break to get paid for recess days.     

HOLIDAY GIFTS: Instead of a $10 gift card from Wegmans, we spent more money on the holiday gift this year by purchasing every member a quality lunch bag/box. Unfortunately, we have fallen victim of the driver shortage that has plagued the nation. Due to the backup in delivery, we will not be able to get these out prior to the holidays. AFSCME Council 66 is also supplying a pocket calendar and an ice scraper. We will begin the distribution of these items to your work location after the first of the year.        

RETROACTIVE PAY: Retroactive pay will not be paid until the year 2022. I have had numerous conversations with the Superintendent and the Board of Education in an effort to move us to the forefront. As a result, District staff is currently working on producing our retroactive pay and as soon as we get confirmation of a date, I will send another e-mail.    

Your raise was initiated on September 12, 2021. The District owes you retroactive pay for any hours you worked between July 1, 2021 and September 11, 2021 as part of the terms of the negotiated contract. This includes members who resign or retire, as they will be sent a check once the retroactive pay is issued. You are owed this money and the District is required to pay it.   

DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING (12-month staff only): The Union litigated the case regarding the 2021 day before Thanksgiving; a day when 10-month and 11-month staff were paid for the day off and 12-month staff were required to report to work. The arbitration took place on December 13, 2021 and we are awaiting a decision. Closing briefs are due by January 21, 2022. The arbitrator will render a decision approximately 30-days from then, so we are looking at receiving the verdict sometime before the end of February.   

The Union has requested as a remedy that the arbitrator provide members who were required to report to work that day with time and one half for all hours worked. This would be in addition to the Holiday pay.   

SAFETY & SECURITY: The contract with Blackhawk for outside security will not be renewed. I have been extremely vocal with the Superintendent, the Board of Education, and the media about our displeasure regarding the hiring of outside security.    

We are pushing for recruitment and retention incentives for security staff and the District has submitted a proposal to the State that would utilize American Rescue Plan Funds for this purpose.    

SCHOOL STAFFING: We continue to lack staff in the areas of Food Services, Custodial, Security, Clerical, and Bus Drivers and recruitment efforts continue. For the 2021-2022 school year, the District is offering up to 200 employees who refer an individual to the District who thereafter becomes a School Bus Driver, Clerical, Custodial, Food Services, School Safety Officer, Paraprofessional, or Teaching Assistant for the District a one-time bonus of $100.00 after the hired candidate successfully completes 6 months of employment. Only the first employee to initiate the referral for the hired candidate shall receive the referral bonus. The hired staff member must indicate the referral in writing to the Office of Human Capital at the time of hiring.   

JOBS CATEGORY: A new “Jobs” category has been added to the BENTE website so members can access job postings throughout the District which can be accessed by clicking on BENTE Website 

COVID TESTING: A big “thanks” to all of you for helping your fellow co-workers with submitting information that enabled every worker to comply with the policy of submitting proof of vaccination or weekly testing. Not one BENTE member was put on an unpaid leave due to non-compliance.   

FOOD SERVICES: Pearl Perry, Cook Manager at #8 School did an excellent job on the news regarding some of the issues cafeterias are dealing with due to the shortage of supplies and staff. The story can be accessed by clicking on School Lunchroom Supplies Running Short .   

ADDITIONAL PERSONAL DAY: The additional personal day that was negotiated for all BENTE bargaining unit members for the 2021-2022 school year has been loaded.    

Best wishes from all of the staff here at the BENTE Union for a safe and joyous Holiday season!    

In Solidarity,     

Dan DiClemente, President     

BENTE/AFSCME Local 2419    

“The Support Staff that Supports Students”    

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