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Waynesboro board adopts teachers' contract

June 01, 2006|by DON AINES

WAYNESBORO, PA.

The Waynesboro School Board has approved a three-year contract with its 302 teachers that will increase salaries 3.5 percent each year but require higher deductibles and contributions from teachers for health care.

The teachers voted Thursday, May 25, "overwhelmingly for approval," Waynesboro Area Education Association President Mike Engle said. On Tuesday, the board voted 5 to 1 in favor of the package.

Board President Larry Glenn was joined by Stanley Barkdoll, K. Marilyn Smith, Anna Bostwick-Foley and John Fitz in approving the contract. Board member Leland H. Lemley voted against it and board member Todd Rock, a teacher at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center, abstained. Board member Chris Dever was not present.

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"Like all contracts, there's some good parts and some bad parts," Engle said Wednesday. "The majority of teachers thought it was a good contract."

"The district got what it needed, and the teachers got what they needed," Glenn said. What the district needed, he said, was help from the teachers to pay for the escalating costs of health insurance.

The district has two medical plans, one aimed primarily at younger teachers and the other toward those who are more likely to be older and have families, Glenn said. For each plan, the deductibles and weekly premium assistance paid by teachers will go up over the life of the contract.

In the Preferred Provider Organization I plan, or PPO I, for example, the individual and family deductible for 2006-07 will be $300 and $600, respectively. Those premiums will increase to $350 and $700 in 2007-08 and to $375 and $750 in 2008-09.

Individuals will not pay any weekly premium assistance out of their paychecks, but those in the PPO I family plan will see their weekly payment go from $10 in the first year to $11 in the second and $14 in the third, with somewhat higher increases in the PPO II plan. There are also increases for those with coverage for themselves and a child, children or a spouse in the plan.

The district agreed to increase the lump-sum retirement payment for teachers based on their three highest earning years beginning next year. The payment is separate from the state pensions teachers receive, Glenn said.

The district also agreed to increase its payment for unused sick days to $45, according to a summary of the contract.

"They can use it to buy health insurance when they retire," Glenn said. For every day of sick leave a teacher does not use during their career, Glenn said that money is set aside to help pay for health-care coverage when they retire, he said.

Along with the 3.5 percent a year in salary increases, the contract adds 1 percent for each step increase in each year of the contract. Glenn said the district has 14 step increases in its salary scale, based on years of service and educational levels attained by teachers.

"Both sides decided to have a civil discourse, and it proved productive in the end," Engle said.

"The professionalism of the negotiating process was impressive on both sides," Glenn said.




How they voted



The Waynesboro School Board approved a three-year contract with its teachers by a 5-1 vote.

For: Larry Glenn, Stanley Barkdoll, K. Marilyn Smith, Anna Bostwick-Foley, John Fitz.

Against: Leland H. Lemley

Abstained: Todd Rock

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