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Frontier support staff asks school board to save jobs

Members of Frontier Central’s non-teaching staff have done what they could over the years to save the school district, the president of the union told School Board members Tuesday night.

Now they’re asking the board to move some money in the $77.03 million budget to preserve services and jobs in the print shop.

Laura Haas, president of the Frontier Central Employees Association, said earlier in the school year the union pushed food service employees to restructure their jobs and to retire to save money. She said 17 employees left the district.

“In a cost-saving attempt to save the food service department, our staff took a major hit. They lost benefits, they lost hours, they lost money, and we basically accepted that to save our department,” she said during Tuesday’s budget hearing. “It seems that the support staff is always getting hit.”

And among the 9.3 full-time equivalent positions that would be cut from the proposed 2015-16 budget are two in the print shop. The plan is to transition the print shop to a copy center, said Superintendent Bret Apthorpe.

When the board adopted the budget, there was discussion that it was approving the total amount to be spent, and there could be changes within various budget lines.

“As a result of these statements, our print shop employees offered the district cost-saving measures,” Haas said.

She said the union met with Apthorpe April 23, and asked that the information be shared with the board, and that the board “reconsider our ideas and move and some money to find some funding” for the services.

“The FCEA is always willing to go that extra mile to save this district,” Haas said. “Support staff employees serve the needs of the many. Our print shop not only serves the needs of the faculty, they also serve the needs of the students.”

Board members had no comments on her suggestion.

The tax levy would be $36.22 million, up 2.12 percent. The estimated tax rate for Hamburg is $26.52 per $1,000 of assessed value, up 1.9 percent. Eden taxpayers would see an increase of 1.9 percent to $23.46 per $1,000.

Voting takes place May 19.