Board OKs teachers contract
By MARY R. SMITH
The McDonald board of education Monday approved a three-year contract with the district’s teachers.
Though teachers will continue to receive pay increases based on years served and increases in their education levels, no other increases will be given from Sept. 1, 2010, to Aug. 31, 2013. There are 45 teachers in the district.
The teachers union, the McDonald Education Association, approved the contract in July.
The biggest issue in the new contract will be the additional cost to teachers for health insurance, said school treasurer Brian Stidham. Teachers will have to pay an increased percentage of the monthly cost of the health-insurance premium.
The cost to teachers will go from 5 percent of the premium for PPO-1 and 10 percent for PPO-2 to 20 percent for PPO-1 and 10 percent for PPO-2. The policies include vision and prescription coverage.
PPO-1 for a single teacher will cost $85.50 a month, and a family plan will be $222.37. For PPO-2, the costs are $38.37 and $99.83, respectively. PPO 2 provides less coverage.
Teachers will also have to pay 10 percent of their dental coverage, $11.66 a month for family coverage and $3.71 for a single person. Before, there was no cost to teachers for dental coverage.
Another change in the new contract is that the board is capping tuition reimbursement at $8,500 for the year for all teachers, and the reimbursement will be based on a first-come, first-served basis.
Teachers who are closed out in a current school year can re-apply at the top of the list the next September.
Teachers receive reimbursement at a rate of $50 per quarter-hour and $75 per semester-hour. In the past, the cost of the reimbursement has run the district $5,000 to $10,000 a year.
In other business, the board accepted the resignation of Roosevelt Elementary School Principal Maggie Kowach, effective July 31, who has taken a job in Struthers.
They hired David Vecchione, now a teacher and athletic director in Lordstown, to fill Kowach’s post at a salary of $65,000 a year. He has a three-year, limited contract to work 203 days per year.
Superintendent Barry Morrison explained that he and a panel of four building-representative teachers at Roosevelt interviewed the final four applicants all day at the school after he screened approximately 10 applicants in interviews.
The teachers and the superintendent made the recommendation to hire Vecchione after he was offered the job Friday.