PINCKNEY, Mich. - Contract negotiations between Pinckney Community Schools and its teachers union are stalled over matters of health insurance and salaries, according to The Ann Arbor News.

The largest problem facing the district is a 34 percent increase in health insurance premiums for Blue Cross Blue Shield's Flexible Blue program. The district budgeted for a 7 percent increase. Every employee group but teachers have switched to a new insurance plan within the district's budget, The News reported.

The union is bringing in a financial analyst from the Michigan Education Association school employees union to argue that the district isn't in as much trouble financially as it states.

"We're hoping this will shed some light on our perspective," Mimi Katakowski, a Farley Hill Elementary School teacher and president of the Pinckney Education Association teachers union, told The News. "The analysis says that if the district plans appropriately, it has the ability to settle our contract and fund a fair and equitable contract. That's all we want."

None of the district employees are receiving raises this year and maintenance and grounds staff agreed to a pay cut to avoid competitive contracting, The News reported.

SOURCE:
The Ann Arbor News, "There's no contract in sight for Pinckney school teachers," Sept. 12, 2008

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "A Collective Bargaining Primer," Feb. 28, 2007

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