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West Side support staff gets $3 raise over 5 years

PRINGLE -- A new five-year bargaining agreement will give support staff at West Side Career and Technology Center a $3 per hour raise before the contract ends in 2012.

The agreement, retroactive to July 1, 2007, was approved by the Joint Operating Committee on Monday. Solicitor Charles Coslett said the 17-member staff will receive a retroactive raise of 50 cents per hour for the 2007-08 school year and 50 cents per hour for this year.

Salaries will increase 80 cents per hour for 2009-10, Coslett said, followed by a 60-cent-per-hour increase for each of the final two years of the contract.

In other personnel matters, the board approved the addition of Christopher Cikota to the substitute list and Bonnie Bower as a volunteer mental health counselor.

Administrative Director Elizabeth Ellis reported enrollment is holding steady at 463 students, up from 393 last year. She said 324 students are from Wyoming Valley West but attempts to schedule meetings with the district officials to reconcile enrollment figures have been unsuccessful and tuition payments from Valley West have been based on a figure of 291 students.

Valley West withdrew from membership in the tech school earlier this year in a dispute about board representation, but district students still attend the school as allowed by law. Coslett suggested the school ask the state to divert Valley West’s state subsidy payments to cover the tuition payment shortage.

In other business, Ellis recognized seniors Jasmine Rivera and Jared Fagaly, who recently took part in a Department of Education Driving Under the Influence leadership conference in Harrisburg.

They were among 30 statewide chosen.

Rivera and Fagaly were also honored by being chosen to address the conference.

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