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Duquesne support staff pact OK'd

| Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 2:26 a.m.

Duquesne City School District's court-appointed receiver and its support staff union president signed a three-year contract at Tuesday's receiver business meeting.

Receiver Paul B. Long approved the contract with the 10-member Duquesne Educational Support Personnel Association.

The pact includes a $600 bonus for those working as custodians or secretaries in the district in 2012-13 and a 2.5 percent scale increase in salary for 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Support personnel will pay a slight decrease for family and medical benefits, from $30 to $25 a month.

“I think it would only be fair to get the teacher contract out of the way, and get this district going the best way we can,” DESPA president Kevin Price said.

The teachers also have been without a contract since the end of the 2011-12 school year. Long said talks have been held twice in the past month with the 35-member Duquesne Education Association.

“We expect to meet again late in October,” Long said. “A date has not been set.”

Personnel and collective bargaining matters were discussed by Long and elected school directors Burton Comensky, Maxine Thomas and Sonya Chambers. Six elected school directors were absent.

Long approved a salary adjustment for business secretary Sandra Rozgonyi. The 2.5 percent increase in her yearly pay to $42,350.23 “is in line with similarly situated employees,” according to Tuesday's agenda.

He authorized a $1,500 adjustment in the contract of chief recovery officer Paul Rach to bridge the gap between the end of his tenure as acting superintendent on June 30, through Aug. 2 when he was named to Long's former post by then-acting state education secretary William Harner.

Assistant to the superintendent Stanley Whiteman said a new district Facebook page has had 3,500 hits in one week.

Long said he will post a quarterly report on the district website later this week.

“It is evident we are taking some giant steps forward (in education),” the receiver said.

Long also employed:

• As teachers, Erica Hages (elementary), Chastity Enck (long-term substitute), Jessica Recker (special education) and Thestes Harper, Chris Baker, Rachel Yutzy, Martin Andrews and Daniel Surovchak (all as substitutes).

• As custodians, Cleave Randolph (full time), Vicki Malloy (part time) and Mark Brown, Charles Kraus, Kimberly Patterson and Anthony Davis (all substitutes).

• As substitute crossing guards, Michele Roland and Monica Wallace.

Cynthia Gedman, Jennifer Yocca, Terrence Farley, Jamie Schmidt, Nancy Moore, Suzan Lucas, Tammie Ernst and Jennifer Kovar were appointed as teacher mentors.

Long accepted Dr. Sarah Switalski's resignation as school psychologist and ratified an unpaid leave for teacher Tawnya Martin.

Comensky said volunteers are needed to work on a KaBOOM! playground project on Oct. 19 along Third Street and Hamilton Avenue. The Heinz Endowments, Boys & Girls Club of Duquesne/West Mifflin and the city of Duquesne also are involved.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or