MEA responds to district’s claims

The Montrose Education Association says the district’s assertion of the offer to settle the ongoing contract dispute does not provide a complete picture of the negotiations.
“The MEA has made major concessions in this negotiations process,” said MEA President Teri Evans, “a step and salary freeze for two years, an overall increase in our health care contributions, and minimal salary increases – but this is still not good enough for the (Montrose Area School Board.)”
According to Evans, the district stands to save over $1.5 million over three years by switching to a new health care plan from the one currently in place.
The district had maintained that it would see a one-time cost savings of $600,000 from the switch which would be used to cover the salary increases.
According to MEA, the district’s proposal looks to base the salary increases on the number of teachers employed in the previous year – including salaries for two retiring teachers.
That offer, according to MEA, will actually cost the district less and would result in a 2017-18 salary increase of 1.78 percent, instead of the 3.64 percent.
“When the (school board) publishes its percent salary increases, these numbers are not accurate and they know it,” Evans said. “The district will not agree to use the 17-18 matrix because it is to their benefit financially to use an old matrix.”
She explained the MEA would like to take the percentage raises and use them on the 2017-18 salary matrix.
With the health care plan, Evans said MEA has agreed to the plan and is willing to contribute five percent, along with a deductible.
If health plan participants do not “max out” their deductible, Evans said the district stands to save more money.
Evan said, “With the board’s proposal, nearly half of the teachers will not have an increase in salary to match the increase in healthcare contributions, event after the third year of increases.”
Evans also said that some language issues persist in the contract offer – including the Early Retirement Incentive and the health insurance opt out.
But common ground does exist between the district and the MEA – including details in both the salary schedules and the health insurance plan.
“The MEA continues to be willing, at any time, to sit down and reach an agreement. We can reach an agreement provided that the MASB is willing to negotiate rather than dictate,” Evans said.
The MEA President said that, at present time, no additional negotiation sessions have been scheduled.

Be the first to comment on "MEA responds to district’s claims"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.