Many school boards around the state are attempting to renegotiate current contracts or negotiate new ones with their local teachers unions to contain costs. Here's a brief recap of some of the new contracts agreed to recently.
North Muskegon: Under a new two-year contract teachers will get a 2 percent across-the-board salary increase this year and either a 1.5 or 2 percent increase in 2011-2012. The second year raise is dependent on the district's fund balance level. Teachers will still contribute nothing toward to the cost of their own health coverage, which includes medical, vision, dental and life insurance; those covered under a spouse's insurance will continue to get a stipend equal to the cost of a one-person plan. However, a $5/$10 prescription drug co-pay will increase to $10/$20. In 2009, health insurance coverage cost the district $15,761 per employee. For more information, click here.
Ida: Teachers will get a 1 percent across-the-board pay increase, in addition to the automatic raises built into to the "single salary schedule." In addition, all teachers will receive a $500 "off-schedule" payment. They still will contribute nothing toward the cost of health coverage that cost the district $15,123 per employee in 2009. It includes dental, vision, life, long-term disability and accident death and dismemberment insurance. Deductibles are $200 for one person and $400 for a family plan (there were no deductibles previously), and those covered under a spouse's policy get a $300 per month stipend.
Cheboygan: The district has entered a new two-year contract with the teachers union that for the first time requires employees to contribute something toward the cost of their own health coverage. Teachers will pay $35 per month this year and $40 per month in 2011-2012. (The statewide average contribution for a family plan is about $235.) The district will also scale back the amount it pays to employees who do not enroll in the health insurance plan, from 50 percent of the single person cost to 40 percent this year and 30 percent next year. Teachers have also agreed to use a $10/$20 prescription drug plan instead of a $5/$10. The district will still pay certain retiring teachers $12,800, plus between $55 and $85 per unused sick day.