Board approves nurses MOU with district

By Erin Achenbach, News Editor

The Mehlville Board of Education unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding June 23 between the school district and the Mehlville Health Professionals Association, the bargaining unit for Mehlville nurses and other healthcare professionals.

The memorandum of understanding lists the expectations for nurses and healthcare professionals in the district, and all the things they in turn expect of the district. The union ratified the bargaining agreement June 21. 

Executive Director of Student Service Adam Smith said there were four major changes to this year’s MOU from last year’s. 

The first point was that all employees received a 3-percent raise, which amounts to around $30,000. Smith said this raise was in line with what Chief Financial Officer Marshall Crutcher and Executive Director of Human Resource Jennifer Hansen had planned. 

Retired members also received an increase in substitute pay in line with the registered nurse levels. 

“This is good for the district because it allows for quality subsitutes when nurses are out, and it is still cheaper than an agency nurse rate,” Smith said. 

Members of the bargaining unit may also receive a $1,500 stipend for a national certification, with fees reimbursed up to $400. 

“This is helpful as a retention measure and also in line with the district’s teacher MOU,” Smith said. 

Mentoring stipends will also be offered for nurses who choose to mentor new hires in the coming year. 

The MOU between the district and the nurses and healthcare professionals is relatively new. There had long been an informal agreement between the nurses and the district until the nurses felt it would be better to get that agreement in writing a couple years prior. The district’s first MOU with its nurses was ratified in September 2020.