Orange Board; OTA Reach New Agreement
The Orange City School District Board of Education announced today it has approved a new three-year contract with the Orange Teachers Association that will run through July 31, 2015. The new contract will benefit Orange students by providing them with more instructional time as well as increased flexibility in scheduling. This supports the District’s evolving educational strategies focusing on 21st Century skills and individualized learning.
The new contract terms will lower current school year salary and benefit costs by approximately $600,000 as compared to the year ending June 30, 2012. This reduction, as well as additional cost savings throughout the length of the contract, was achieved by changes to the health insurance programs. The agreement will substantially reduce costs through required enrollment, when available, in non-District spousal coverage, as well as increased co-pays and deductibles and higher employee premium contributions for health, vision, prescription drug and dental insurance plans. Teacher premium contributions will increase each year from the current 8%, to 10% in 2013, 11% in 2014 and 12% in 2015.
There will be a zero percent increase in base wages in the first contract year with an increase of 1.8% in 2014 and 1.9% in 2015. In the first year, there is a 1.25% stipend for a select group of experienced teachers. Additionally, beginning in 2013, new teacher starting salaries will be reduced by 5%, creating a permanent reduction in total teacher salary expenses.
“Our negotiations with the Orange Teachers Association covered a wide range of topics focused on continuing the District’s strong academic programs for the benefit of all of our students and controlling spending through collaborative approaches to health care cost control,” said Dr. Nancy Wingenbach, Orange Schools Superintendent.
On behalf of the school board, President Sam Steinhouse stated, “The Board commends both negotiating teams for investing the long hours over the last few months that brought us to this contract agreement.”