MESICK, Mich. - A Mesick man was reportedly "baffled" by the lack of transparency during teacher contract ratification procedures, according to the Cadillac News.

Greg Bailey asked for a copy of the contract being voted on at the June 9 school board meeting and was told there were no copies or any information available to the public, the News reported.

"I objected to approving the teachers' contract without the public being able to comment (knowledgeably) on it," Bailey told the News.

After the board meeting, Bailey requested a copy via the Freedom of Information Act, but was denied because the contract wasn't finalized at the time.

"I'm very, very upset with the process," Bailey told the News.

"This is a timely matter for completing these things and providing the information to the public."

The major changes to the contract include a switch in health insurance coverage from the Michigan Education Special Services Association, a third-party administrator affiliated with the Michigan Education Association school employees union, to Blue Cross Blue Shield. Teachers will receive a $1,000 signing bonus in the fall for the switch, while also seeing pay increases of

1.75 percent, 2.3 percent and 2 percent over the next four years. The 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years will both include raises of 2 percent, according to the News.

SOURCE:
Cadillac News, "Man upset by Mesick school board ratifying teachers' contracts," June 25, 2008

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Michigan School Databases"

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