Crestview contracts approved

NEW WATERFORD – The Crestview school board on Wednesday ratified two-year contracts with both the teachers and support staff.

Board president David Vollnogle, Crestview Education Association president Herman Miller and Ohio Association of Public School Employees president Gary Fieldhouse all talked during the meeting about how well the negotiation process went. All three mentioned how both sides were willing to compromise for the good of the district.

Following their comments, board members and the union presidents shook hands. The district used win-win negotiating techniques as they have during negotiations for at least the past decade.

After the meeting, Superintendent John Dilling said the agreements have increases of 3 percent and 2 percent in wages. Dilling noted in five out of the past six years employees have agreed to a wage freeze.

Additionally, there will be no changes in health insurance. During the past contract, deductibles had been raised and the option of a health savings plan had been added, which about 30 employees participated in, according to Miller. He commented that compromises like the health savings plan had saved the district money, which in turn led to the wage increases this time around.

Vollnogle said he wanted to thank the CEA and OAPSE members for making sacrifices in the past seven years and allowing the district to remain healthy. Miller agreed, noting it has been important for the board and teachers to work together for the good of the school.

“We just appreciate the relationship,” Miller said. “Even as we continue to bring in new blood it’s important that some stay so people can find out what the family is really all about.”

Crestview’s board has many long-serving members. Employees also tend to stay a long time. Dilling announced during the meeting the five people retiring this year have 162 years of combined experience at Crestview schools.

Fieldhouse said in his view it is all about communications, not just in negotiations, but also in solving problems at the school district on a day-to-day basis.

“As long as we can talk about things we’ll be okay,” Fieldhouse said. “Half our problems will be solved.”