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OSEA classified staff to get raise in Corvallis
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OSEA classified staff to get raise in Corvallis

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The Corvallis School Board voted to give the district's non-teaching staff a 2.5% raise starting in December.

The board voted unanimously to provide the cost of living adjustment to employees in classified positions represented by the Oregon School Employees Association during its meeting Thursday.

According to the district's Director of Finance and Operations Olivia Meyers Buch, the hourly rate for OSEA members was increased by $1.50, resulting in increases between 3.6% and 13.6%. This year, members will see a 2.5% increase across the board.

"For us, it was the challenges of the economics of the time and, at the same time, continuing to work together to come up with a solution ... to try to address the needs of the association while knowing that our finances are tighter than they have been in quite some time," said Superintendent Ryan Noss.

On Oct. 22, the School Board voted to increase the pay for its teachers' union, the Corvallis Education Association, by 1% beginning in January on top of a July agreement to raise pay by 0.5%. That was compared to last year's total adjustment of 3.75%.

"Similar to our agreement with the CEA, we believe that this is a favorable outcome considering the significant revenue shortfall we are facing due to a decline in student enrollment and our student investment account allocation," Meyers Buch said in an email to the Gazette-Times. "This is a very challenging time to negotiate pay raises, but we were able to offer a modest increase in pay while avoiding staffing reductions."

Contract negotiations for the 2020-2021 school year between the Corvallis OSEA chapter and the district began in May, as the financial aspects of this school year's contract expired June 30.

A tentative agreement was reached near the end of October and the local OSEA chapter voted to ratify the agreement Monday, sending it to the School Board for final consideration.

"Like the other association, the process that the district engaged in was very even-handed in trying to work diligently to come to an agreement and was really emphasizing the needs of staff as much as they were able within the budget constraint," said School Board member Vincent Adams. "I just really applaud the district negotiating team for their heartfelt and candid approach to the process. It's, once again, an example of how our leadership and our associations worked to cultivate a collaborative relationship to meet our needs."

Nia Tariq can be reached at 541-812-6091. Follow her on Twitter @NiaTariq.

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