The Farmington Board of Education and CILU Local 60 ratified a new three-year contract, spanning July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015, with a major change in the union’s health insurance plan.
The CILU, which includes about 150 custodians, secretaries and paraprofessionals who work in Farmington schools, agreed to the new contract a few days before the board’s Aug. 28 meeting, when the Board of Education voted to approve it.
The contract includes a 2 percent wage increase for each of the next three years in addition to the switch from the district’s traditional PPO plan, in which all the district’s other bargaining units are enrolled.
The change is to a High Deductible Health Plan Health Savings Account, which gives individuals and families a deductible of $2,000 and $4,000 respectively, according to a press release from the school district. After the deductibles are satisfied, the plan pays 90 percent of medical costs up to an employee out-of-pocket maximum of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families. The plan also features an employer-funded Health Savings Account of $1,500/$3,000.
According to the release, participating employees will continue to contribute 13.5 percent of the plan’s cost, rising to 14.5 percent and then 15.5 percent over the life of the three-year contract.
The new HDHP HSA plan is a “consumer-directed health plan,” and represents a significant cost savings to the district, according to schools Business Administrator Mike Ryan.
“This represents a big change and really represents where a lot of insurance plans are going right now,” Ryan said. “It’s the direction companies are trying to go. The employees become participants in the program and they become more diligent about what the cost of the program is and being participants in it there’s more oversight of what the claims are. So it’s a significant change.”
In the release, the district calls the contract the result of diligent negotiation “acknowledging the school district’s increasing insurance costs” and cites a history of cooperation in the CILU’s previous contracts, including taking a hard zero increase in 2009.
“The contract negotiated between the Farmington Board of Education and the CILU is the culmination of diligent collective bargaining. The respect between CILU and the Board of Education extends beyond the negotiating table and into the everyday exchanges between the union membership and the Board of Education. CILU is proud of its role in supporting the students of Farmington,” said Pauline Wilson, president of CILU Local 60.
Board of Education Chair Mary Grace Reed commended all parties involved in the negotiations saying, “We sincerely thank the CILU leadership as well as our staff for their vision, support and cooperative spirit as we jointly negotiated this important breakthrough in insurance coverage for Farmington staff.”