Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando schools and union reach tentative deal on insurance

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County school workers will get a little more help with health insurance costs but not as much as the teachers union would like.

The Hernando School Board would contribute $503.42 per employee per month under a tentative agreement reached after the latest round of talks with the Hernando Classroom Teachers Association. That's $6.92 more per month than the board first offered and $61.92 more than last year.

It's a small victory for teachers who sought relief from rising premiums but a loss in a philosophical argument with the School Board.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida hit the district with an average 14.5 percent premium increase this year. The board agreed to cover an additional $55 per employee per month regardless of the plan. The union, however, wanted the district to contribute more for employees who have family coverage. Some of those plans could see increases of nearly 20 percent, so teachers asked the district to ease the burden to those enrollees by kicking in another $268,000 for family plans over the second half of this fiscal year and the first half of next year.

The board balked, noting the district has never contributed more for some employees than others. To do so would be unfair, some board members have said.

Instead, the board has offered another $194,000 spread evenly over all plans. That would bring the district's total insurance cost over the next 12 months to about $14.8 million, a $1.93 million increase from last year.

The cost to employees in the HMO single plan would increase by $5 per month to $25. About 1,740 of the 2,600 enrollees opt for that plan, making it the most popular of eight offered by the district. The monthly contribution by an employee with children on the HMO plan would be $410.80, an increase of $64.14 from last year.

Both sides characterized the talks as amicable. Negotiating with the board is only one element of the union's efforts to fight rising premiums, said union president Joe Vitalo.

The board will consider the deal on Dec. 8. The union is expected to ratify its contract in January. All 1,700 Hernando teachers get to vote.

The Hernando United School Workers, the union for non-instructional employees, is expected to get the same insurance deal as the teachers.

Tony Marrero can be reached at or (352) 848-1431.

Hernando schools and union reach tentative deal on insurance 11/16/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 16, 2009 8:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  2. Man injured when small helicopter crashes into Odessa home


    ODESSA — A small manned helicopter crashed into the roof of a house in northwest Hillsborough County on Monday, injuring a pilot, officials said.

    Rescuers respond to a crash of a small helicopter on the roof of a home in the Odessa area on Monday. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]
  3. State investigation cites multiple failures in death of Largo child


    LARGO — It was sweltering in the bedroom of the Largo mobile home the day a child welfare case manager visited in July.

    Liz Rutenbeck, 24, poses with her son William in a Facebook photo. Baby William Hendrickson IV died while his mother was in jail after police said his father left ihim in a sweltering room.  A state investigation into the boy's death found multiple failures on the part of the child welfare system.
  4. 'Siesta Key' star punched in face, not sure who did it


    TAMPA —Alex Kompothecras, cast member on MTV's reality show "Siesta Key," tells police he was punched in the face outside a bar in Tampa's SoHo district.

    Alex Kompothecras, Juliette Porter, Pauly Apostolides, Madisson Hausburg, Chloe Trautman, Garrett Miller, Kelsey Owens and Brandon Gomes pose for a photo in Siesta Key in June before the debut of the MTV reality series Siesta Key. [
EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Editorial: Senate health care bill would be disastrous for Florida


    The frantic effort by Senate Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with something — anything — ranks raw politics over sound policy and threatens the health care of millions of Floridians. It is a desperate attempt to declare victory by shifting responsibility from the federal government …

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks in August in Doral.