Teachers will get a 3 percent pay raise this year.
By SUE DROTLEFF
SEBRING -- The new three-year contract between the Sebring Board of Education and Sebring Local Education Association contains increases in teacher contributions for their insurance benefits.
The board approved the pact Wednesday; teachers gave their OK to the contract a day earlier. A tentative agreement was reached Monday morning after a 14-hour marathon bargaining session that began Sunday. The new contract is retroactive to Sept. 1, 2001, and extends to Aug. 31, 2004.
Board members Andy Safkow, Marie Zurbrugg and Jim Cannell approved the pact. Tod Brunie abstained because his wife is a member of the bargaining unit. Board member Paula Wayt arrived late at the meeting after the roll-call vote had been taken but expressed her support for the new agreement.
Pay: Terms under the new agreement were spelled out by superintendent Howard Friend. Teachers will receive pay increases under the contract of 3 percent the first year, 2.5 percent the second year and 2 percent the third year.
For the third year, if the amount of state basic aid is increased, teachers will receive a 2.5 percent increase, Friend said.
In addition, changes were made to health insurance. Under the old contract, teachers paid a deductible of $100 for single coverage and $200 for family. The new pact calls for those amounts to increase to $150 and $300, respectively.
Co-pay amounts for major medical coverage also changed, with employees now paying 10 percent of the first $2,500 for network providers or 20 percent for out-of-network providers. Previously, employees paid 10 percent of the first $1,000.
Prescription co-pay amounts were increased for generic drugs from zero to $5 and for brand-name drugs from $5 to $10.