School Committee, Custodial and Cafeteria Workers Agree to New Contract

A new three-year contract will see raises and some additional benefits for the school district’s security monitors and maintenance and cafeteria workers.

The School Committee approved the collective bargaining agreement with the union representing the workers last week.

“This year, we were able to receive additional funding, and we were excited to do what we could to appropriately provide increases for our AFSCME union staff,” said district Human Resources Director Christine Lee.

The agreement runs through 2024, and includes a 4 percent raise in the first year for custodial workers, and a three percent raise in years two and three. The same raises were negotiated for the security monitors.

Cafeteria workers will see a much larger pay increase, with a 12 percent bump in the first year of the contract, followed by 3 percent raises in the second and third years.

“We did a 12 percent increase because we noticed that their salary rates were much lower than their colleagues, so we did a market adjustment for our cafeteria workers, which is why the percentage is higher than the other units,” said Lee.

The cafeteria and security monitors will also see an increase in their clothing allowances. In addition, workers in those units who have four or more years on the job will receive all scheduled days off on the calendar.

For the custodial staff, the new contract sees increases in longevity pay as well as sick time buybacks. In addition, a new position, assistant to the senior building custodian, was added at the high school.

“We had talked about these members a lot during the pandemic, and the commitment they have shown to the district, feeding our children and making sure our buildings are clean and safe for the return, as well as when we were closed,” said school Finance Director Monica Lamboy. “Even in non-pandemic times, these team members are really committed to the children of Chelsea and it is a pleasure to work with them.”

Lamboy said the final agreement is a fair, balanced, and equitable proposal.

Other additions to the agreement included maternity, paternity, and adoptive leave of up to 12 weeks of paid leave for FMLA or eight work weeks for MPLA leave. There was also a provision added for domestic violence leave, and Juneteenth was added as an official paid holiday.

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