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MAPS board OKs pair of support contracts

August 28, 2012
By JACKIE STARK - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - The Marquette Area Public Schools Board of Education voted to approve tentative agreements for two of the district's unions during a regular meeting Monday night.

The board approved agreements for the Marquette Educational Support Personnel Association Unit 1, which represents custodial, maintenance, food service and transportation workers; and MESPA 2, which represents clerical staff, aides, teaching assistants and lunch supervisors.

Originally on Monday's agenda as an item to consider for ratification, the Marquette Area Building Administrators contract was not acted on by the board. MABA represents building principals and administrators.

"The two groups and the administration worked together pretty well," said Carl Bengry, chief negotiating officer for MESPA 2. "We kept the number of proposals down. We're happy with what we got. It's like the first year we didn't lose."

Bengry said the MESPA 2 contract will remain largely the same as last year's, though MESPA 2 members will be paying less for their health insurance, due to a 7.5 percent drop in rates.

"Our membership is satisfied with it," Bengry said.

MAPS central administrators were unavailable for comment as of press time this morning.

In other action, the board approved a set of operating procedures for itself after a lengthy discussion in which Secretary-Treasurer Laura Songer raised questions about what she saw as disjointed goal-setting between the board and the district's administration.

"As I see it, the board's goals should also be reflected in the superintendent's goals, so it should be all one unit operating toward the same point on the horizon," Songer said. "It should flow. I'm not seeing the flow."

Despite Songer's criticism of the timing of certain discussions laid out in the document, the board voted to accept the procedures.

The board also unanimously voted to name the United Way of Marquette County a charitable solicitation organization for 2013; named Trustees Jean Hetrick and Rich Rossway and Vice President Mike Kohler as delegates for the Michigan Association of School Boards Delegate Assembly, slated for Nov. 8 in Detroit; and had a first reading of several district policies.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.



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