After careful consideration of the cost factors involved, the Board offered to accept the insurance plan requested by the NFT, Customized PC-20/30/70, in exchange for a 15% premium contribution to be paid by the certified staff. The cost of this plan is actually less than the PC-20/30/70 plan the Board proposed on July 18th.
Assuming a 15% contribution by the teachers, the savings to the District is over $4 million for the first year, and will continue to yield significant savings every year thereafter. The 15% contribution would be consistent with the rate paid by all other district bargaining units, and existing retirees would be required to pay this contribution. Future retirees may obtain insurance coverage if they pay 100% of the premium.
The Board also offered to reinstate teachers for education credits not recognized over the past three years. The one-time cost of this expense will be approximately $2 million. Again, this is for education credits only, not service steps.
By recognizing education credits, the Board is looking to help the younger teachers in a way that will reaffirm our commitment to their valued service. Beyond this point, however, the Board will no longer recognize MEQ credits.
The combination of these two moves provides the NFT with some concessions they are looking for, and tax payers will benefit from the net-positive impact that will result from the much-needed savings from the high cost of health care premiums.
All other aspects of the Board's July 18th proposal remain in place.
This is just one step in the process to resolving this contract impasse, but it is an important development that we hope union leaders will share enthusiastically with their membership.