The Solon Board of Education approved Monday a one-year contract with the Solon Education Association, representing the district’s teaching staff, with a zero-percent base raise.
That contract period is from Sept. 1, 2021 to Aug. 31, 2022.
The current contract runs through Aug. 31, 2021, and instead of launching into full negotiations due to the uncertainty related to COVID-19, it was agreed to pursue a one-year agreement that remained flat for this next year, Superintendent Fred Bolden explained.
Plans are to enter into negotiations in 2022 for the next contract period.
To the credit of the SEA, they understood this agreement, Mr. Bolden said.
“Given the uncertainty of our financial future with COVID-19 and if additional state monies would go away, this would not be a great year to start entering into negotiations with all the unknowns,” he said. “Next year we will negotiate in a more typical fashion.”
All provisions of the current contract will stay the same, including any bonuses or anything dealing with healthcare, he said. “Next year, as opposed to having a cost-of-living increase, those will remain flat.”
Mr. Bolden said Solon teachers are working extremely hard and this agreement speaks to how supportive they are of the entire community.
“They are a great group of teachers who have gone above and beyond,” Mr. Bolden said.
Board President Julie Glavin said the district is fortunate to have this kind of relationship with their staff and the ability to come to these kinds of agreements.
“They really work hand in hand and it’s a great atmosphere,” she said.
District Treasurer Tim Pickana said that it was understood by everyone at the table that the school district is not immune to the effects of the pandemic.
“They [the teachers] get it has been a tough year for our parents and our taxpayers,” he said. “Many people have lost their jobs and have had significant health issues.
“They [the teachers] want to be part of the solution,” he said. “They believe this is the right thing to do.”
Mr. Bolden added that the Solon school teachers “are incredible citizens of this community.
“The vast majority live here or in the neighboring districts,” Mr. Bolden said. “They understand what this community is going through and what we are going through as a society.
“They are a wonderful group of hardworking people who care about kids and this community,” he said.