Next up: Ratification for Pasco contract deal
"We could not identify enough recurring dollars to guarantee we'd be able to continue to pay the health insurance next year" and also give raises, USEP president Lynne Webb explained. "That has always been a first priority not only for the union but also for the board."
District employee relations director Terry Rhum added, "The board and the superintendent's objective has been all along to continue to provide fully paid health insurance for the employees and to avoid layoffs. We've achieved that. We wish it were better."
The agreement, which still requires ratification by the employees and the School Board, provides supplemental pay to all workers who have jobs with the district as of today. The supplements, unlike bonuses, will count toward retirement credit.
For teachers, the payments will be:
- $550, for all newly hired teachers and those on salary steps 1-10
- $725, for teachers on steps 11-22
- $800, for teachers on steps 23-26
- $850, for teachers above step 26
For school-related employees, the payments will be based on the numbers of hours and days they work. The breakdown is:
- 26 cents per hour, for employees on steps 1-5
- 31 cents per hour, for employees on steps 6-10
- 36 cents per hour, for employees on steps 11 and higher
The sides also agreed to leave the door open to reconvene if the economy improves, so they might negotiate additional pay later in the year. They further said they would begin exploring the idea of early retirement annuities.
The tentative deal is on target to go to employees for a vote on Nov. 19, and to the School Board on Nov. 17. If approved, the checks should be distributed on Dec. 18.