By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
LEETONIA -- The village school board and its teachers union agreed on a three-year contract this week.
Superintendent Thomas Inchak said the pact, which became effective Thursday and expires Aug. 31, 2008, included major health-care concessions by the union. He credited the union for its "cooperative spirit" during the negotiations.
The Leetonia Education Association represents 61 teachers, guidance staff, librarians and a nurse. Inchak said the new contract will have union members paying a "sizable contribution" toward their health insurance premiums. Most employees did not contribute in the past.
The contributions will be phased in incrementally, so that by the end of the contract members are contributing between 10 percent and 14 percent of their current premiums, Inchak said.
There also will be a slightly higher deductible and some changes in prescription coverage for employees.
Contract terms also include a 3-percent salary increase for employees in each of the three years. As of Sept. 1, annual salaries range from $26,140 to just more than $54,000, Inchak said.
The contract also allows the school board to hire part-time teachers and addresses class-size issues.