ALPENA, Mich. — Teachers in the Alpena Education Association will receive a 0.5 percent wage increase and a one-time, $500 payment in lieu of salary step increases under the terms of a two-year contract implemented by the school board, according to The Alpena News. They also will be shifted to a health insurance plan that requires them to pay a deductible, The News reported.

The teachers union and the school district have not been able to reach agreement on a new contract since the previous one expired Aug. 31, 2009, according to The News. A state mediator recommended a contract that would have given teachers a 1 percent raise in 2010-2011 with acceptance of the new health insurance plan, but teachers rejected that offer in voting last week, The News reported.

The school board then voted 6-0 to implement a contract under which teachers will still receive Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan health insurance, but will be enrolled in a plan that requires them to pay a deductible, The News reported. The $500 payment will be paid in the 2010-2011 school year in place of step increases.

"Everybody would like to keep what they have but it's hard times," said Pat Sampier, assistant superintendent for human resources, The News reported. "Right now everyone else in the district has PPO II insurance and right now, none of the teachers pay any part of theirs, so in these times I don't think it's too much to ask."

AEA President Donice ZiBerna declined comment, according to the News.

SOURCES:

The Alpena News, "Contract imposed," July 7, 2010

Michigan Education Digest, "Flint imposes contract," June 3, 2010

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