Posted Date: 10/12/2021
Board Members Ratify Agreement for Sign-Up Bonuses for Special Education Aides
The Board of Education approved a memorandum of understanding with the Union Support Personnel Association to provide sign-on bonuses for special education aides as recommended by Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler.
Hartzler informed the Board that Union will receive a grant from the City of Tulsa's Vision 2025 project entitled “Teach. Live. T-Town" to assist in the recruiting, retention, and training of difficult to fill school staff positions.
“This money will be made available to the district annually for each of the next three years,” Hartzler stated. “Our shortage of special education aides has placed staff in difficult positions while caring for our students. By incentivizing aides to join us, we will reduce the extra workload and provide the necessary care for our students.”
Administration and the USPA have agreed to make available to special education aides signing bonuses that are not classified under the current contract.
In a related matter, the Board also ratified a memorandum of understanding to increase employee steps for special education aides, behavior technicians, Child Nutrition workers and Child Nutrition assistant managers.
“To assist in the recruiting, retention, and training of difficult to fill school staff positions, we have determined that our salaries for special education aides, behavior technicians, Child Nutrition workers and Child Nutrition assistant managers are below market levels and need to be adjusted to recruit and retain these positions,” said Jay Loegering, executive director of Human Resources.
Board Schedules Zone 2 Election for Next Year
The Board of Education scheduled the upcoming general election for District #2 on April 5, 2022.
The seat is currently held by Dr. Chris McNeil, who was appointed to the position last January after Board member Lisa Ford resigned so she could run for a position on the Broken Arrow City Council.
If more than two qualified candidates file for the position, a primary election will be held on February 8, 2022. If a candidate in the primary receives more than 50 percent of the votes cast, that candidate shall be elected to the Board of Education and no general election shall be necessary. If necessary, the general election would be April 5, 2022.
‘Making a Difference’ Award Presented To Union Senior
Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler presented a special award to Union High School senior Jacob Osifeso. Deemed the “Making A Difference” Award, this special recognition “acknowledges a student who epitomizes what it means to be a servant leader,” Hartzler said. “On behalf of the district and as superintendent, I am extremely proud of you.”
About a year-and-a-half ago, Hartzler said he was alerted to the actions of a young man who was going out of his way to care for a neighbor who had fallen on tough times with some health issues. “The story filled my heart,” Hartzler said. “This is a young man who is going out of his way every day to meet this neighbor’s needs. He didn’t even have to call. Jacob would call and say, ‘Do you need me this evening?’ I was so moved by it, I wanted to hear more from others. Jacob’s response to his neighbor demonstrates the Union Way. That is how we want to raise all our students, and that’s why we’re recognizing him tonight.”
Board Members Approve Agreement for Mechanical Projects Across District
The Board of Education approved a master agreement with Henderson Engineers after a selection committee determined them to be the most qualified firm based on experience on similar projects, qualifications of key personnel, qualifications of the total design team, and past experience with Union and references on similar projects. Four firms had presented proposals.
The master agreement for fiscal year 2021-2022 will provide for engineering consultation services for multiple mechanical projects. The design fee for each project will not exceed $50,000 and the total design fee for all projects will not exceed $200,000, according to Fred Isaacs, director of construction services.
The district has a need for a master agreement to address important small projects, he said. Three of the projects on the list for consultation and design services are the track and field lighting project, power quality issues at the High School, and the baseball/softball lighting project. There will be other projects that require MEP consultant assistance.
In other action, the Board: