New Albany Begs for Bargaining Reform

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) affiliate in New Albany is serious about cutting costs, and the union is making the tough decisions to prove it.

The proposed agreement would extend the contract through June 2014 and would stretch out a 3 percent cost-of-living raise slated for the 2011-12 school year to 1 percent during the next three school years.

Reduced raises!

Also, step increases – annual salary bumps awarded for education and years of service – would be reduced by 2 percentage points. Steps originally ranging from 4 to 5.4 percent would now be from 2 to 3.4 percent.

About 80 percent of the district’s 329 teachers are eligible for steps. The average step is 3.1 percent.

Even more reduced… other raises?

Quick: name an industry where employees get two types of pay increase, neither of which is tied to merit. If you came up with an answer that wasn’t “public education,” let me know.

To their credit, the union has also agreed to increased health insurance premiums:

Under the proposed pact, teachers on a “single” plan would contribute 15 percent toward health-care premiums, 5 percentage points more than they currently pay. Those on the family plan would remain at 15 percent. Teachers also would pay more for co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses.

With the economy in Franklin County and throughout the country suffering, yet another OEA local crows about reduced raises and a slightly-less-terrific health plan as if we should cheer their sacrifice and cough up some more taxes. While this agreement is a testament to fiscal sobriety compared to what’s happening at Columbus City Schools and Hilliard City Schools, I can’t imagine it wins many converts to the OEA’s cause.

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