On July 21st, I wrote my first blog alerting everyone to make sure we pay attention to the new teachers contract for 2017. I advised you all that it will be presented to the legislative body for approval at the March meeting.
The new contract will be negotiated this fall and NOW is the time for the legislative body to begin organizing and formulating our questions and become active in the negotiating process, instead of waiting for the final outcome and feeling helpless with no other options but to approve a take it or leave it proposal!
I cautioned each and everyone of us to keep a sharp eye trained on SAU 24 and the actions they will take to continue down a path of unsustainable cost increase, just to protect the abnormally high compensation for healthcare benefits packages that are offered to the employees of SAU 24. These healthcare benefit packages are extreme and are the sole cause of the budget increases since 2009.
In my blog (read here) I sent you a link on how to read the school district’s proposed budget.
After this year’s meeting, I examined in detail the healthcare insurance premiums offered to district employees.We the legislative body and our lack of understanding along with our Elected School Board members unwillingness to negotiate vigorously to control of these insurance coverage policies, has added approximately $300,000 to last year’s budget. I have confirmation from a School Board remember and by being ind direct contact with Kathleen Sargent SAU 24’s Business Administrator that the healthcare insurance increase for the new contract that will be negotiated this fall will be 3.3%.
A simple fix in the policy of healthcare insurance benefits is possible and we would see a reduction of almost $300,000 in the school budget (calculated without the 3.3% forth coming increase). This policy change would be consistent with how the private sector uses in the offering of healthcare insurance to employees. If you want to read your current teachers contract and examine how 85% of the insurance premiums are paid for by we tax payers you can read here: (henniker_teach3 agreement).
The first signal that no policy change is going to be considered and the SAU is digging in to play hardball with the legislative body comes in the hiring the hiring of, Cindy Sargent (any relation to Kathleen Sargent SAU Business Administrator mention above???) as Human Resource Benefits Specialist, as reported here on page 3 of the current Messenger Issue dated August 5, 2016 (sau 24 benefits hire Messenger_080516_1-21.)
I wonder why SAU 24 needs to hire a SEIU labor Union employee? What exactly is our elected School Board going to do…capitulate and not effectively negotiate a new benefits package?
Pay close attention to the smoke signals coming from the POWWOW!
GET INVOLVED NOW…NOT LATER!
Dr. Bruce J Trivellini