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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

No furloughs, no change in health cost split in Pinellas

16

September

Update at 3:57 p.m.: "Good news on bargaining" is the subject line on a memo that interim superintendent John Stewart sent to district employees today. It is included below.

Here's the memo PCTA sent to members after yesterday's bargaining session: The Bargaining Leadership Team met today to consider the joint union counterproposal to the District’s Health Insurance proposal. The District has accepted the union’s offer as follows:

* No furlough days

* Maintain the 80%/20% Health Insurance contribution rate with plan changes that were recommended in the District proposal (5.83% rate increase), except:

* Premiums for single coverage would increase $5 per pay period beginning in December 2011 and all 2 person and family plans would increase by $10 per pay period.

* Establish Insurance committee which would look at all type issues, including clinics, self-insured plans, plan changes, etc.

While other financial and significant working condition proposals remain on the table for PCTA, and negotiations will continue between PCTA and the District, bringing resolution to these two key financial issues will have a direct impact on employee well-being and morale. PCTA appreciates the School Board’s willingness to continue evaluating the budget.

Following the meeting, PCTA President Kim Black stated, “This is a significant win for all employees. Teachers have earned the right to affordable healthcare and fair compensation. While we continue to work towards full agreement on other contractual issues, this settlement goes a long way in bringing closure to two extremely important financial components that impact the daily lives of all educators.”

Here's the memo from Dr. Stewart:

Dear colleagues,
 
District and union leadership, including representatives from all four bargaining units, reached agreement Thursday on a plan that removes furlough days from the table for this school year. Additionally, the bargaining teams agreed to maintain the present health insurance contribution rate, in which the School Board pays 80 percent of insurance premiums and participating employees pay an average of 20 percent.
 
Due to a 5.82 percent rate increase from Humana, premiums for single coverage will increase $5 per pay period beginning in December; two-person and family plans will increase $10 per pay period. In addition, there are several co-pay changes effective Jan. 1, 2012. Details will be communicated during the annual open enrollment period, which begins Oct. 12.
 
As part of the insurance settlement, the groups agreed to form a committee to explore alternative plan designs in an effort to reduce health care costs for the next renewal. 
 
While the district will continue to work with the bargaining units to negotiate other financial and working conditions, settlement of the two issues mentioned above brings us a long way toward a successful overall resolution with our union partners.

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard on behalf of our employees to bring us to this point.
 
John A. Stewart

[Last modified: Friday, September 16, 2011 4:01pm]

    

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