Red Wing teachers ratify new contractRed Wing teachers on Thursday ratified a new two-year contract between the district and the teachers union.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing teachers on Thursday ratified a new two-year contract between the district and the teachers union.
"I'm happy about the progress that both our negotiating team and the district made," said Education Minnesota Red Wing President Kirby Hanson, who said the vote passed by "a significant margin."
All that's left is for School Board members to finalize the contract at a special meeting Monday.
According to details released at this week's School Board meeting, the contract includes:
* No grid raises during 2009-10; teachers will receive a one-time $260 stipend for 2009-10.
* 1.85 percent raises on the grid in 2010-11.
* Step and lane increases
* Modifies retiree insurance from specific insurance plans to a dollar contribution, which, according to an actuary, will reduce the district's overall retiree health care liability in the future.
* The district further reducing contributions to low-deductible health insurance plans.
District Finance Director Brad Johnson said the agreement will mean a $200,000 budget increase this year and a $400,000 increase in 2010-11.
"I think we're in the ballpark where it's certainly a settlement we can live with," he said.
He said the current budget is roughly $28 million - about $12.5 million of which represents teacher salaries and benefits.
The district could see up to a 10 percent savings on liability through changes to retiree health insurance benefits, Johnson said. He estimated annual savings of about $30,000, but noted that insurance-industry variables could skew estimates.
A verbal agreement was reached between the district and the union about a month before the state's Jan. 15 deadline without mediation.