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D-50 board, union extend contracts for support staff

HARVARD – The District 50 school board and Harvard Education Association have reached an agreement to extend by a year the contract of the district's educational support staff.

The deal extends the 2009-2013 collective bargaining agreement and grants the support staff a 3 percent raise, which is consistent with previous years of the agreement, District 50 spokesman Bill Clow said.

It also aligns the contract to expire the same time as the current teachers' contract. Both now will expire a day before the 2014-15 school year.

The educational support staff previously was represented by a separate union, but joined forces with the teachers' union about two years ago, Clow said.

"So what they approached the board with was just doing a year extension so that they could deal with one contract next year," he said.

Educational support staff comprise employees such as secretaries and custodial staff, among others.

Their contract expired June 30, two and a half weeks before the two sides reached an agreement on an extension.

Late last year, the board and union members agreed to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement for teachers. That deal spanned two years and granted teachers a similar raise at nearly 3 percent each year.

District 50 encompasses about 2,500 students in five schools: Harvard High School, Harvard Junior High School, Jefferson School, Crosby Elementary and Washington School.

The Harvard Education Association has about 130 members.

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