District Employees Will Now Pay Toward Their Health Insurance
Stipulation part of new three-year agreement between the district and Board of Education.
All Wayne Education Association (WEA) staff members will pay 1.5 percent of their annual base salary towards health insurance premiums beginning this year.
The stipulation is part of the district’s new three-year agreement with the WEA.
The Board of Education ratified the new agreement at Thursday’s meeting. Four board members voted completely in favor of the agreement, two raised objections to part of it and President Donald Pavlak Jr. abstained from voting.
Pavlak said that the agreement is one that is “beneficial to both parties.”
The agreement will save the district more than $3.7 million.
Trustees Robyn Kingston and Laura Stiziano objected to the portion of the agreement regarding the salary of WEA President Sean Spiller.
Spiller will be relieved of his teaching duties but will receive a salary for his role as president, his only defined role in the district.
“I believe that this is not the right course of action for our district in our current economic climate,” Kingston said. “I firmly believe that the position of Union President should be a volunteer position and that our tax dollars should not be used in any way to fund this position.”
The approximately 1,200 employees the WEA represents will be paid $56.8 million in base salaries for the 2011-2012 school year.
The agreement changes the percentage of annual increase for salaries.
Under the previous agreement, a staff member moved up one step on the salary guide each year, at a 7.8 percent increase over a three-year period. Under the new agreement, the board has agreed to pay a 5.75 percent increase over the next three years, or less than a 2 percent average annual increase throughout the course of the agreement.
The district will receive 4.5 percent of the salary increase back through health premium reimbursements from the WEA, making the net increase to the district 1.25 percent throughout the course of the agreement. Officials estimate the district could collect $946,000 annually, based on base salaries paid, in insurance premiums.
Stipends for athletic coaches and co-curricular activities will be frozen at their current amounts for the life of the agreement.
The agreement also gives the district the right to examine the possibility of going from a nine-period day in the middle and high schools to an eight-period day. Interim Superintendent Michael Roth said the district could save $1.5 million annually if the move is made. Officials are examining making the change for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Officials proposed the change for the upcoming school year but it was rejected.
The WEA represents approximately 1,200 employees including teachers, guidance counselors, nurses, secretaries and paraprofessionals.