MADISON TWP., Mich. — Madison School District teachers have agreed to a new contract that includes a wage freeze and higher health care contributions, The (Adrian) Daily Telegram reported. Officials there told The Telegram that the teachers and district both wanted to sign a contract before a new state law on teacher health care takes effect.

The one-year agreement will freeze the salary schedule at the 2010-2011 level and only allows step increases if enrollment increases by at least 35 students, according to The Telegram. Teachers will pay 15 percent of their health insurance premiums, up from 8 percent last year, the Telegram reported.

The Michigan Legislature on Wednesday passed a bill that would cap the amount school districts are allowed to contribute toward health insurance per employee, according to separate media reports. (See related item in today’s Michigan Education Digest.) However, even if signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, the new measure would not take immediate effect in districts with signed contracts.

Madison Education Association President Mary Radant told The Telegram that teachers in Madison now will pay about $262 per month toward a family health plan, up from $128 per month. The district will continue to purchase insurance through the Michigan Education Special Services Association, an affiliate of the Michigan Education Association, Radant told The Telegram.

The district explored switching to a health savings account plan for teachers, but association members said coverage wasn’t comparable, Radant told The Telegram. However, she said that MESSA is considering adding a health savings account option which teachers might consider, according to The Telegram.

“I think MESSA is starting to recognize that people might be looking at other options, because it is expensive,” Radant told The Telegram.

SOURCE:

The (Adrian) Daily Telegram, “Madison teachers’ contract reached,” Aug. 23, 2011

FURTHER READING:

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Benefits in Balance

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