MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Education Association and the board of education recently signed a contract for the 2011-12 year.
The one-year contract, which runs from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, will include a freeze in pay and steps, as well as a change in the health insurance payments.
“The board and the association worked together, listening to the community, to meet the needs of the staff, students and community,” said Mount Vernon Superintendent Steve Short. “I’ve been (in the district) 27 years and I can’t remember when there was a freeze in pay. The board appreciates the willingness of the teachers to work together and I’m glad we were able to come up with a contract.”
Short said teachers generally received around a 3 percent increase in pay each year and that the freeze in pay and step increase would result in a savings of $260,000 for the year.
“We worked together. Realizing the financial straights the district was in and the hard economic times we’re in, we felt the need to work together to help the district stay solvent,” said MVEA president Lynda Small. “This is a good example of collective bargaining. The two sides worked together to do the best for the staff, students and administration.”
The contract also calls for a change in the amounts paid by the school and the teacher for health insurance. The board will now pay 85 percent of the insurance premiums, compared to 90 percent in the past. That will increase what the employee pays for family insurance each month from $103.11 to $154.67, and the district pay will go from $928 to $876.44. For individual insurance, the employee will now pay $68.76 instead of $45.84, and the district will pay $389.67 instead of $412.59.
Overall, Short said, it will save the district more than $150,000 for the year.
The contract, which usually is for three years, is only for one year this time, due to the uncertain financial situation of the district and state, Short said.