What's at Stake: At a Glance

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The issues at impasse will be resolved by the school board at the legislative body hearing that begins at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at the School Support Center.

ISSUE
MEA’S Position
Superintendent’s Position
1.      Teacher Salary
(Issues 1, 2, 3 & 4 are interconnected in the Special Magistrate Recommendations)
MEA proposes to maintain the current salary schedule, one furlough day for this work year and implement the Experience Step Advancement at the beginning of the 4th quarter for this year and resume automatic movement for next year. The Health premiums proposed by MEA are sufficient and it is not necessary to cut teacher salary to reduce the health plan deficit. These cuts are unwarranted. MEA accepts the recommendation of the Special Magistrate. 
The Superintendent proposes to cut teacher salary by 2.75% across the board and use $3 million of the money saved to provide an additional board contribution to the health plan. The Superintendent rejects the recommendations of the Special Magistrate.
2. Paraprofessional Salary
(Issues 1, 2, 3 & 4 are interconnected in the Special Magistrate Recommendations)
MEA proposes to maintain the current salary schedule and implement the Experience Step Advancement at the beginning of the 4th quarter for this year and resume automatic movement for next year. Since other low paid, 10 month employees were excluded from furloughs paraprofessionals should not suffer the loss of pay from furloughs. MEA accepts the recommendation of the Special Magistrate. 
The Superintendent proposes to furlough paraprofessionals for three days and not implement the Experience Step. The Superintendent rejects the recommendations of the Special Magistrate.
3.Experience Step Advancement
(Issues 1, 2, 3 & 4 are interconnected in the Special Magistrate Recommendations)
MEA proposes to implement the Experience Step Advancement at the beginning of the 4th quarter for this year and revert to the previous language providing for Experience step advancement at the beginning of the year. The structure of the schedule accounts for step advancement based on experience and the expectation of yearly attrition as employees retire or terminate employment. The savings from attrition between years is more than the cost of the step advancement. MEA accepts the recommendation of the Special Magistrate. 
The Superintendent proposes to NOT implement steps and there should be no step advancement unless and until negotiations are complete each year. Step advancement is not included in the budget for 2011-12, but attrition savings have been included in the budget. The Superintendent rejects the recommendations of the Special Magistrate.
4.Health Insurance plan and premiums
(Issues 1, 2, 3 & 4 are interconnected in the Special Magistrate Recommendations)
MEA proposes to implement the recommendations based on several months of meetings of the contractual Health Insurance Committee. Premiums increase an average of 9% for employees and 6.9% for the Board for the 2012 plan year. Implement plan design changes to the Blue Choice Plan only. MEA accepts the recommendation of the Special Magistrate to implement the MEA proposal on Health Insurance.  
The Superintendent proposes to implement the 2nd year of the Mercer plan, a plan based on 2009-10 budget data, partially imposed last year that increases employee premiums by 29% and Board premiums by 4.9%, with a reduction in Board premiums for employee coverage in the Blue Care HMO plan.  The Superintendent rejects the recommendations of the Special Magistrate.
 
 
 
5.                  Additional HMO Health Plan
Although the Union prefers to delay the implementation of a new health option until the contractual joint Health Insurance Committee has had the opportunity to review the plan design and to hear from the plan’s Third Party Administrator about the impact of the new option on the plan and participants, MEA accept the Special Magistrate Recommendation pertaining to an additional HMO plan option. MEA is concerned that employees would choose this plan based on low premiums without recognizing the higher deductible, higher out of pocket expenses and generic drug coverage only requirement.
Add an additional lower level HMO product with lower premiums, less benefits, higher employee deductibles, higher out of pocket expenses and generic drug coverage only. The Superintendent agreed to implement this option in negotiations with the AFSCME bargaining unit. The Superintendent rejects the recommendations of the Special Magistrate.
6.             Life Insurance
MEA accepted the Superintendent’s proposal and MEA accepts the Special Magistrates recommendation regarding changes to the Life Insurance Benefits.
The Superintendent proposes to reduce the Board paid Life Insurance benefits from two times the employee salary to one times the employee salary. effective April 1, 2012. Employees would be able to purchase the one times coverage not paid by the Board without evidence of insurability. The Superintendent rejected the recommendations of the Special Magistrate.
7.                Terminal Pay
MEA proposes to revert to the Terminal Pay language in place prior to the imposed changes in June, 2011. MEA continues to be concerned about this issue due to errors made by the payroll department and the inability of the District to provide information on employee leave records prior to the beginning this year. MEA accepts the Special Magistrate recommendation to return to the prior language.
The Superintendent proposes to maintain the changes in Terminal Pay imposed in June, 2011 that reduces the payout for unused sick leave after July 1, 2011. The Superintendent rejected the recommendations of the Special Magistrate.
8.Virtual Educators
MEA proposes to include contract language protecting the working conditions, including work hours of teachers assigned to the District’s new eTech, Virtual Education program. MEA proposes that the District provide the necessary computer hardware and internet connections required for the job. MEA accepts the Special Magistrate’s recommendation pertaining to this issue. After the Special Magistrate hearing the district requested further negotiations over this issue.
The Superintendent first proposed that employees pay for all technology out of the teacher’s pocket and no language was needed. After the Special Magistrate hearing, negotiations over this issue continue. The Superintendent rejected the recommendations of the Special Magistrate.