By JENNIFER FITCH
7:27 PM EDT, June 7, 2012
The Waynesboro Area School Board and its teachers union will return to the bargaining table Monday morning as they attempt to hammer out a contract deal before a June 15 deadline tied to health insurance.
The two sides first started negotiating in January 2010 in anticipation of the last teacher contract expiring June 30, 2010.
School board member Rita Daywalt said her side will present again two options largely developed through recent mediations.
The teachers union, Waynesboro Area Education Association, has expressed frustration that one of those options was not formally negotiated.
If an agreement is reached by June 15, the school board can make changes to its health insurance coverage for 2012-13, Daywalt said. Those savings can be used to provide pay increases, she said.
“We hope to reach a contract and resolve this issue,” union President Mike Engle said.
“I’m always hopeful ... (and) hoping for a little compromise,” he said.
Waynesboro Area Education Association represents about 278 teachers.
The two sides are negotiating whether employee contributions to their health insurance coverage could yield savings to be used for salary increases.
One point being negotiated is whether the district, which is self-insured, could shop around for new providers, Daywalt said. Previous contracts locked the district into one of a select group of Blue Cross providers, she said.
Those changes could only go into effect for 2013-14 because of the time they take to make, Daywalt said.
“If we did it with a consortium, like through the Lincoln Intermediate Unit, we could save significantly,” she said.
Recent contract proposals
Recent proposals in Waynesboro Area School District teacher contract negotiations include:
• A 2.5 percent raise for 2012-13 and 2 percent employee contribution to health insurance with a deductible of $1,200 per person or $2,400 per family
School board: Approved
• A 2.25 percent raise for 2012-13 and no employee contribution to health insurance with a deductible of $1,200 per person or $2,400 per family
School board: Approved
• A 2.5 percent pay raise for 2012-13 with employees making no contributions to health insurance premiums
School board: Rejected
WAEA: No decision
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