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Hannibal School Unions Agree to No Pay Increase Next Year

There’ll be no pay increases for workers in the Hannibal school district next school year, under tentative agreements announced this week.

Hannibal’s Board of Education approved new contracts with all but one of its unions.

The largest union, the Hannibal Faculty Association, agreed tentatively to a one-year contract that not only holds pay at this year’s levels, but also eliminates step and longevity increases for the year. Teachers have not voted on the proposal yet.

Unions representing office workers, the District Clerk and the CSEA local all agreed to three year contracts. Each of these unions had been working without a contract after their last one expired after last school year.

Their deals, according to Superintendent of Schools Mike DiFabio, call for 2% raises for the current year, no raise next school year and a 1.75% raise in 2012-13. These units will also pay 1% more of their health costs in 2012-13.

“I commend these unions,” said DiFabio.

Attempts at winning concessions from the teachers’ union failed last school year and resulted in angry public comments from some Board of Education members. It appeared that the effort might fail again this year, when the board heard that the union had rejected its demand for an “absolute zero” contract. The union replied that it had made a counteroffer, which was rejected.

In recent days, DiFabio hinted that talks had turned in a positive direction.

The district’s smaller unions have said in the past that they were willing to make concessions, but only if the teachers’ union did.

The retroactive agreement with the other unions changes one of the key calculations of the current school budget process. Board members told district officials to prepare the 2011-12 budget using the 2010-11 salary numbers. The retroactive 2% increase changes both the current year numbers and the salary line in the proposed budget. The added expense will have to be recouped elsewhere in the budget, assuming voters approve it next week.