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updated: 6/30/2014 5:42 PM

Raises for Dist. 203 maintenance employees

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Custodians and maintenance workers soon will be cleaning and repairing facilities in Naperville Unit District 203 for $1 more an hour under a contract the school board approved Monday.

The four-year agreement gives 147 members of Naperville Unit Maintenance Association a $1 an hour raise for the first year, followed by a 3 percent raise the second year and raises equal to the change in the consumer price index the third and fourth years, as long as the amount is between 1.4 percent and 2.5 percent.

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In a news release, maintenance association President Paul Marsala said the contract provides salaries "more on par with the marketplace."

Deputy Superintendent Kaine Osburn said the contract eliminates so-called steps in the salary schedule, which simplifies the pact with the employees who maintain the district's 22 schools and other facilities.

"We wanted a fair contract that was fiscally responsible," Osburn said. "But by eliminating the steps, we're not tying employee pay strictly to the number of years they've been in the district, and that actually simplifies the contract and it ties pay to the work that's being done."

Osburn said the district could not provide an average salary for union members.

The contract begins July 1 and runs until June 30, 2018. While it provides raises each year, it reduces the amount the district will contribute toward health insurance for each retired union member. The district's maximum contribution will be $48,000, which Osburn said is less than the average it had been paying for each retiree under previous contracts.

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