By Jeff Gallatin
Administration, school board and union officials alike all praised a new three-year agreement between the Bay Village City School District and its teachers union, which gives the educators pay raises each of the three years but also has them pick up additional health care costs.
“We are able to once again rein in cost increases because our teaching staff is reasonable,” Superintendent Clint Keener said. “They want the district to be financially stable.”
Under terms of the agreement, the educators receive pay raises of 2 percent for each of the next two school years and a 1.75-percent raise for the third year of the contract in 2015-2016. School administration officials estimated the pay hikes would cost about $360,000 each year of the contract.
The contract comes after a 30-month base salary freeze for the teachers.
In addition, the agreement requires the spouses of teachers who can obtain health insurance from their employers to do so instead of being covered by the educator’s insurance, which officials estimated would save the district about $266,000. It also requires the teachers’ share of the insurance costs to go from 13 to 15 percent in the third year of the contract, which officials estimated would save the district about $635,000.
The contract also requires the teachers to pick up an additional 1 percent of their retirement pension for each of the next four years.
Julia Papcke-Russell, the outgoing president of the teachers union, said the union realizes the financial constraints the district faces.
“There aren’t a lot of businesses in town, so we know the district and its residents have to deal with that,” she said. “We try not to place a lot upon them.”
Papcke-Russell said she appreciated the teamwork between district negotiators and the union in putting together an agreement that benefited the community and all the parties in the agreement.
“We appreciate how they worked with us in putting together fair evaluation standards as part of the contract,” she said.
Papcke-Russell noted that the new guidelines, which came about because of state requirements, will have a major role in how educators are paid for their work.
School board members Michael Caputo and Amy Huntley also praised the new contract.
“When you look and see what’s going on in other area districts, it’s credit to all the people that we can continue to work together to better the district,” Huntley said.
Caputo lauded the financial soundness of the contract and said not all districts would be able to get the different parties to be able to come together and put together such an agreement.
District Treasurer Debbie Putnam said because of the health care concessions by the teachers, she could adjust the five-year forecast to reflect a savings of more than $250,000 each year.
The new contract goes into effect July 1 and runs through June 30, 2016.