TAYLOR, Mich. — Newly hired support staff in the Taylor School District will start at lower wages and pay more for health care under an agreement expected to save the district $1.6 million over two years, according to The (Southgate) News-Herald.

New employees will receive 70 percent of "base pay" and work their way up to 100 percent over five years, The News-Herald reported. The current base pay in dollars was not reported. They also will pay a larger share of the cost of medical office visits and emergency room visits.

The workers are members of Local 26M of the Service Employees International Union. A union official told The News-Herald that the union is not currently in contract negotiations, although the contract posted at the district website expired on June 30.

The district moved a number of substitute support staffers to permanent status after 57 employees retired this summer, The News-Herald reported.

The (Southgate) News-Herald, "TAYLOR: School service employees union concedes $800, 000," Oct. 12, 2010

Taylor School District, "Master Agreement between The Board of Education of Taylor School District and Local 26M Division of SEIU Local 517, Dec. 8, 2008 - June 30, 2010."

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Michigan School Databases, "Michigan School District Collective Bargaining Agreements."