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APS settles contract with bus drivers, custodians

2/27/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Becky Tompkins

The Akron Public Schools (APS) District is in the process of getting employee contracts in order following the acceptance of a new teachers’ contract in December by both the administration and the Akron Education Association union.

At its Feb. 24 meeting, the APS Board of Education approved a three-year contract for Local 100 employees, which represents custodial, maintenance and transportation workers.

The contract is similar to that of the Akron teachers, said board President Lisa Mansfield.

The Local 100 employees will receive raises of 2 percent, 2.35 percent and 2.85 percent over three years and will pay higher contributions to the cost of their health care, said Tod Wammes, of APS human resources, manager of labor relations. He was the lead negotiator on the contract.

In other business, in 2012 the district sold Central-Hower High School to The University of Akron (UA) for $13.5 million worth of scholarships for qualified APS high school graduates.

They are called Innovation Generation scholarships, and board member Patrick Bravo gave an update on the 2012-13 program at the meeting.

The university has certified that $255,741 has been used on these scholarships so far, Bravo said, leaving $13.2 million. There have been 66 students so far, with a collective grade-point average of 3.3.

Thirty-five percent of them are first-generation college students in their families, and 12 percent are minorities, he said.

The high schools with the most graduates accepted in the program are Ellet and Firestone, each with 25.

There are still program details to be worked out with UA, Bravo said, such as coordinating application deadlines and discussing the UA stipulation that scholarship students must take 16 credit hours per term.

Also during the meeting, the board approved spending the money required to apply to the Green Building Certification Institute for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the Buchtel/Perkins Community Learning Center (CLC).

Of the $12,286 fee, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) will pay 59 percent, as it is paying 59 percent of the cost of constructing Akron’s CLCs, said Paul Flesher, APS director of facility planning.

Buildings that qualify for LEED certification have many “green” features that are intended to help conserve energy and keep heating and cooling costs and water usage down. That is why the OFCC requires new CLCs to include features that will earn LEED silver certification, Flesher said.

He said the cost of 41 percent of the $12,000 fee will be easily recouped through energy savings at the Buchtel CLC.

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for March 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Sylvester Small Administration Building, located at 70 N. Broadway St. in Downtown Akron.

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