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BUSD approves bargaining agreement with classified employees

The Bonsall Unified School District approved a collective bargaining agreement with the district's classified employees.

A 5-0 BUSD board vote March 14 approved the agreement between the school district and the California School Employees Association chapter for Bonsall. The new agreement includes an additional 2 percent salary increase and also amends sections on new member orientation, paraprofessional compensation, summer assistance, and unused medical benefits.

“We appreciate their contributions each and every day. They are what makes Bonsall an amazing place to learn,” said BUSD superintendent Joseph Clevenger. “The work we do doesn’t happen without them.”

The classified employees will receive a 6.5 percent salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2023, and will also receive a 2.0 percent increase from the 2023-24 salary schedules effective July 1, 2024. The salary schedule has 30 steps for each type of position. Previously if a classified employee was promoted to a higher step he or she would remain on that step until acquiring the years of service needed for the next step, but that clause was eliminated with the new agreement. The stipend for bilingual classified employees was changed from $750 annually to $75 monthly.

A paraprofessional may supervise an entire class of students under the supervision of a principal. Previously if there was no certificated employee or substitute available for at least one hour the paraprofessional would be paid 5 percent above his or her hourly rate for all hours worked in that situation. The new agreement reduces the threshold of teacher absence to 15 minutes while the paraprofessional will be paid 20 percent more than his or her normal hourly rate.

The state Department of Education has a Classified School Employee Summer Assistance Program which pays participating classified employees during the summer recess. Employees set aside up to 10 percent of their paycheck and the state matches that funding on a 1:1 basis. The new collective bargaining agreement calls for BUSD participation in that program if state funding is provided while noting that the school district is not financially liable if the state does not provide the match.

The school district will provide the California School Employees Association chapter with notification of new classified hires and will also include a CSEA membership packet in the orientation information provided to the new hire. If a group or one-on-one orientation is conducted paid release time for two CSEA representatives will be granted.

Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code provides rules for flexible benefits plans, and the collective bargaining agreement already called for the district to provide such a fund for each eligible classified employee. The new agreement designates that the benefit will include a rollover provision to the maximum level allowed by law.

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Joe Naiman, Writer

Joe Naiman has been writing for the Village News since 2001


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