Rochester Community Schools/REA Teacher Contract

At the December 1, 2010 Board of Education meeting, the Board voted in favor of approving a new teacher contract with the Rochester Education Association.  Highlights of the contract are listed below.

  • The contract covers three years, from September 1, 2009 through August 31, 2012.
  • Effective June 30, 2012, the Early Retirement Incentive Plan (ERIP) will be terminated.
    • Financial Impact: A savings of approximately $42 million over the next 30 years.
  • Teachers will participate in the Health Choices Insurance plan. Under the Choices plan, employees may choose from three plans – two of which require employee contributions of differing levels depending on employee cost sharing for deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance, and one which does not require an employee contribution but rather pays the employee a stipend in exchange for the employee absorbing higher deductible and co-insurance limits.
    • Financial Impact: An annual savings to the district of approximately $2 million.
  • Pay increases for teachers are as follows:
    • 2009-10: No pay increase other than scheduled step increases for those eligible.
    • 2010-11: +0.5% on schedule (recurring cost) and + 1% off schedule (non-recurring cost) as well as step increases for those eligible.
    • 2011-12: +1% on schedule (recurring cost) as well as step increases for those eligible.
    • Financial Impact: Wage increases in this contract result in $1.2 million in recurring cost to the district and $800,000 in one-time cost.
  • Changes have been made to the salary step schedule which sets the base pay and maximum pay for each teacher. The former contract had 11 steps. The new labor agreement calls for a “two tiered” salary schedule.  Veteran teachers are adding one step level to their previous salary schedule, meaning that it will now take 12 years to receive the maximum pay.  For new teachers hired into the district, five step levels are being added, meaning it will take 16 years to reach maximum pay.
    • Financial Impact: For veteran teachers hired before July 1, 2011, there will be an approximately 10% yearly reduction in the cost of step increases. For teachers hired after July 1, 2011, there will be an approximately 45% reduction in the cost of step increases.

The Board of Education’s goal during contract negotiations with the Rochester Education Association was to achieve an agreement with the REA that was fair, equitable and acknowledged the economic times in which we live. The combination of salary increases, the restructuring of steps with a two tier wage schedule and concessions related to health care results in an overall cost saving to the district of approximately $525,000 through 2011-12 compared to the cost of continuing to operate under the previous terms of the expired labor contract.

The Board-approved contract contains considerable savings to the district in both healthcare and short term costs and long term legacy costs, while recognizing the dedication and quality of our teachers.

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