Teachers Union Agreement to Save District $425K, Maybe More
School board approved a contract change and extension between the district and teachers union
On Wednesday the school board approved a new agreement with the teachers union, including increasing employees' share of healthcare and pay freezes. This could save the district over the next two years the district could save $425,000.
“It’s a long process and we just chipped away at it,” Suder-Riley said.
Superintendent Kathryn Powers said the two sides came to an agreement Tuesday night.
“After talking and trying to determine what would be best for everyone in the district, we finally came to a conclusion for a proposal,” Powers said.
The new agreement increases the employees' share of their health-care premium from 6 percent to 10 percent, starting next school year. Teachers will get about a 2 percent raise next year, carried over from the previous contract, but will take a pay freeze for the 2013-14 school year.
This contract could be extended to 2014-15, including health-care concessions and the pay freeze, if the district believes it has "sufficient funds" based on the five-year forecast.
“We thought this was a way to sacrifice a little bit and say we’re participating in this,” Suder-Riley said. “We thought it was a win-win.”
The agreement also adds new language for the teacher evaluation system -- a new state mandate -- and reduction in staff language that coincides with the new evaluations.
Because the two sides were in the second year of a three-year contract already, the current agreement will be frozen and new contract will be started. Powers said Ohio law doesn't allow four-year contracts.
While the district is still negotiating with its classified union to renew its contract that ended in 2011, members of the board were excited about the new deal.
“I just want to commend the collaborative effort and thank both of you from the district perspective and teacher perspective for coming together and making this happen,” President Ron Stuver said to Powers and Suder-Riley.
“I hope this demonstrates to the public that we’re going to lick this financial problem,” Board Member David Andrews said. “We’re taking a problem that was not created in Twinsburg, but we’re finding solutions in Twinsburg.”
The new agreement may not have been ideal to some teachers, but Suder-Riley said most wanted to do their part to help the district in its financial crunch.
“The majority of the teachers felt it was a good idea and they’ve been asking the leadership, “Is there something we can do?” Suder-Riley said.
“We want to maintain what we have, which is a wonderful teaching environment, a wonderful learning environment and a place where people want to be."