WARREN SCHOOLS With negotiations at a standstill, employees issue strike notice

A strike would begin Sept. 2 if both sides can't come to terms.
WARREN -- The city school district's transportation and maintenance employees have issued a 10-day strike notice, saying contract negotiations are at a standstill.
If accord is not reached, a strike would begin Sept. 3.
School starts in less than a week.
Frank Caputo, the district's executive director of personnel, confirmed this morning the strike notice was received, but declined to comment further.
The district's attorney, Daniel Jaffe of the Cleveland firm of Squires, Sanders and Dempsey, was unavailable.
The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 943, said negotiations stalled after the two sides met Thursday and that union members are willing to sit down with a mediator.
Union President Carol Pawcio also was unavailable this morning.
The union represents about 109 employees, including bus drivers.
Its contract expired June 30.
Caputo could not say what the sticking points are, but noted that Local 934 is the district's only union to issue a strike notice thus far.
Other negotiations: Besides transportation and maintenance workers, the district is negotiating with three other unions -- secretaries, food service personnel and educational aides.
The 74-member Warren Secretarial Association gathered in front of school board offices earlier this week, saying they're unsatisfied with a proposed contract that calls for a 4 percent raise the first year and 1 percent raises the second and third years.
School officials have said the proposal has a provision that secretaries could get up to 4 percent in the second and third years if rising health-care costs stabilize.
The district's health care is expected to cost $1 million or more in the upcoming school year.

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