By ALICIA LEONARD
For all of the negotiations and news reports, the approval of the collective bargaining agreement for teachers was passed with barely two staff members and press only in the audience on the evening of May 22.
Earlier in the day the Walton County School Board(WCSB) met at 2:30 p.m.
to hear five construction firms vie for minor service project management contracts. At 5 p.m. those contracts were awarded as follows.
Ajax Construction was awarded the job of the Freeport Elementary
School additions. Childers Construction received the Freeport Transportation/bus barn contract. Elkins Construction will handle Bay Elementary security upgrades to the office, lobby and walkways. Lord and Son Construction will handle secure lobby access for outlying schools in the south central and north parts of the district. Ram Construction was awarded the contract for the Paxton School track improvements and secure lobby access upgrades. Board members said all five firms were excellent in their presentations. The construction management companies will appraise the job sites and go out for bids for other contractors, before returning to the board with information, which should take at least a
little over a month’s time.
An emergency meeting was called for 5:45 p.m. to approve the ratification on the collective bargaining agreement between the board and the Walton County Education Association. After receiving the Special Magistrate’s recommendation a week prior, teachers voted 439 to ratify and 50 not to ratify. The board approved the ratification unanimously.
They also approved the teacher allocation funding plan to be submitted to the Department of Education to receive the earmarked funds set aside for teacher pay increases, as well as a second item including salary schedules for supervisory, confidential, and managerial staff, with board member Sharon Roberts being the only nay vote for the last item. Roberts said she supported employees receiving well-deserved and earned raises now and in the future, but she voted nay due to the changes in terms of already employed worker contracts for employees not
covered by the union.
The board then moved to unanimously approve administrative salary schedule language for the 2013-2014 year before adjourning.
By ALICIA LEONARD