GRAND BLANC, Mich. - Teachers in the Grand Blanc School District would pay more for prescription medication while the district would offer an early retirement incentive under proposed contract amendments, according to The Grand Blanc News. The moves are intended to help the district cut $3 million from its 2009-2010 budget, The News reported, and will have the effect of protecting jobs for lower-seniority teachers.

Pending school board approval, the district will offer long-time teachers a retirement payout of $30,000 to $50,000, based on seniority and paid over two years, according to The News. Under a separate amendment, teachers will pay $10 or $20 for prescription medication, up from $5 or $10. The sides also agreed to lengthen the school day by 5 minutes but cut one full day of school, intended to save money on operations, the News reported.

"The contract isn't even close to being up, but when you're faced with the certainty of losing teachers ... we felt compelled to sit down with them," teachers union Vice President Matt Hugo told The News. "Our whole effort in negotiating was to preserve the new teachers."

Most of the savings — $600,000 of a projected $800,000 — would come from the higher medication charges, school officials told The News. School construction and improvement plans also may be tabled as a cost-saving measure, the report said.

SOURCE:
The Grand Blanc News, "Grand Blanc teachers union and district strike a deal to cut budget and save jobs," March 20, 2009

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Report, "It's time to get serious about school employee pension reform," Feb. 23, 2007

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