By Ed Runyan
Michael Notar, Warren schools business manager, praised the district’s 450 teachers for approving a contract that freezes wages for three years, freezes step increases and includes a 10 percent contribution to health care in the third year.
“I think they understand where we are as a district and the needs of the district,” Notar said Wednesday, the day after the Warren Board of Education approved the contract and a similar one for the district’s 54 secretaries.
The district will release a five-year forecast later this week that shows it will have a $528,000 deficit starting with the 2012-13 school year.
The new contracts are effective this July 1, though the health-care contribution will begin July 1, 2013.
Warren teachers do not pay a percentage of their health-care bill, but they have agreed to changes in the plan in recent years that have resulted in higher out-of-pocket costs than those paid by most other districts in the county, Notar said.
Starting teachers in the district make $31,800, while the most senior teachers with a master’s degree plus 30 additional hours of education and 33 years of experience make $69,006.
Secretaries, some of whom work many fewer hours than others, make between $9.90 and $18.38 per hour.
The freeze means the workers will not make any additional money over the life of the contract, including no step increases for length of service.
The district is negotiating contracts covering the 300 other employees in the district and expects to come to terms with them in the coming weeks, Notar said, adding that he expects those to contain the same type of pay and step freeze and health-care contribution.