Nick McWilliams reporting – After a vote for the OAPSE union to end the strike, the Claymont school board approved the last, best offer, officially reinstating the workers.
The strike, which lasted from March 22nd until Friday, when workers took down picket lines, was over wage disputes, as well as insurance issues.
President Austin Beckley says he was happy to see the strike end, appreciated the union and ready to see the “healing” process begin, but was disappointed by what was posted online, as well as what was said between the two sides.
“There’s been a lot of conversation on social media. A lot of it’s been disgraceful. Because you are our employees. And we expect more out of our employees than some of that stuff that was spreading around on Facebook.”
Beckley noted the school has a personal conduct policy, which counts for social media posts and presence.
The last, best offer details $45 per month for single coverage health, increasing to $52 and $57 in the next two years.
Family rates are $90, $104 and $114 over that same period.
Salaries are supposed to be raised by three percent from the 2017-18 period with retroactive pay increase, with a 2.25 percent increase for 2018-19 and a two percent raise for this school year.
OAPSE Attorney Thomas Drabick says he is pleased, along with the union members, to see the strike come to an end.
“I think that the employees are glad that this experience is over with. Now that that process is over, everybody hopes to go back to providing services to students, to the community, and doing the best job they can for Claymont Schools.”
The contract is split into a one-year deal for 2017-18, and a three-year deal until 2021.
Superintendent Scott Golec echoed the sentiments of Beckley and Drabick, adding all procedures will now return to normal.
“That’s the message. To move forward begin to heal. I’m just glad it’s over, and I’m glad to get our people back to move forward.”
The total time between non-teaching employees missing work will have spanned from March 22nd to April 22nd, following the 22 months without a contract.
The board passed the measure 3-0, with member Michelle Sproul abstaining.
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