CURWENSVILLE — Curwensville Area School Board approved an early-bird collective bargaining agreement with the district’s support staff union, the Curwensville Area Educational Support Professionals Association.

At Thursday’s combined work session and monthly business meeting, directors unanimously approved a four-year pact that begins July 1 and expires June 30, 2022. The current contract does not expire until June 30.

Superintendent Ron Matchock told The Progress in an interview following the meeting that 56 employees — including custodians, cafeteria workers, aides and secretaries — are affected by the terms of the new agreement.

The provisions include a 50 cents per hour raise in the first year of the agreement and 35 cents per hour increase in years two through four. He said there is an additional expense for union members in the employee’s premium share however the pact includes an option to choose a qualified high-deductible insurance plan.

“The contract is fair for the district and the employees with reasonable concessions on both sides that take into consideration the long-term health and viability of the school district,” Matchock said.

Union President Deborah Harzinski said members recently consented to the pact. “The vote at our membership meeting was one vote shy of unanimous so I believe our members are happy with the new contract. As president of the association, I do think the contract is fair to both the employees and to the school district. I appreciate the respect and cooperation that we received from both the administration and the school board.”

Negotiations between both sides began about a month ago.

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