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Education

Maumee teachers approve new contract

Teachers in the Maumee City Schools overwhelmingly approved a new three-year agreement that gives them a 3 percent wage increase this year and next and calls for a reopening of wage negotiations for 2010.

The agreement that was announced Thursday morning was in the form of a fact-finder s recommendation that had previously been accepted by the Maumee Board of Education. The teachers acceptance, by a vote of 185-8, means they have ratified a new contract.

The board is expected to follow the recommendation of Superintendent Greg Smith and ratify the contract at a meeting on Monday.

The teachers union, the Maumee Education Association, and the board had been negotiating since August and were unable to come to an agreement before the Dec. 31 expiration of the teachers three-year contract.

After a federal mediator was unsuccessful, both parties agreed to a nonbinding fact-finding process.

The sticking points were wages and health insurance. The board proposed wage increases of 1.25 percent and wanted to double the teachers 10 percent contribution to their medical plan.

But the biggest item of disagreement, according to the fact-finder s report, was the board s proposal that working spouses of teachers must obtain coverage elsewhere if their employer paid at least 70 percent of the cost of the plan.

The teachers objected, arguing that such an arrangement was not the norm in area school districts and where it did exist was accompanied by financial incentives.

The fact-finder recommended no change in the teachers current medical coverage.

The average teacher s salary is $65,000. About 13 percent of the teachers are at the top of the pay scale, which will rise to more than $80,000 with the new raises.

The fact-finder also recommended no changes in policies regarding sick leave, planning periods, and life and dental insurance.

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