The Brighton Area Schools Board fo Education is now engaged in collective bargaining toward a new contracts or wage reopeners with its three unions. The three unions are the Brighton Education Association, BESPA– the Brighton Educational Support Personnel Association, and BASAA – the Brighton Area Schools Administrators Association.

The BEA represents about 320 teachers in the Brighton school district, and their contract expires on Aug. 31st. The teachers are in the last year of a 5-year contract, and Superintendent Greg Gray says the two sides have already had several discussions regarding language aspects of the contract. He tells WHMI that the really intensive part of the process is negotiating salaries and benefits.

In the current contract, teachers have technically been under a wage freeze, but can ask for – and have – requested salary reopeners, resulting in incremental salary hikes. The other two unions only have wage and benefits reopeners this year. BESPA represents about 50 para-professionals, food service, maintenance, clerical and ancillary staff employees, while BASAA involves nearly 20 principals, assistant principals and department heads.

Gray, in addition to being superintendent, also acts as the district’s chief negotiator in the absence of a human services director. Brighton is currently looking for an administrator to head the human services department. The district went through one round of candidate searches last year and was unable to find a qualified person to fill the role. (TT)