President Aronowitz Says the Time for Talk is Through --- Put Your Proposals on the Table
Bargaining 8 Update - November 2, 2012
Thank you to the Bargaining Team members for keeping copious notes which prevented the district from reneging on their original salary offer.
Chief Negotiator Karen Aronowitz opened with talking about steward’s action voting to allow her to sign on to RTTT-D
District officials thanked the union and their bargaining team for reconsidering the RTTT-D. They acknowledged that if we could not reach agreement, they would pull the grant. RTTT-D is a voluntary program for middle schoolmath teachers and no one would be forced to participate.
The subcommittee on health insurance has been looking at multiple versions of plan design. Headway was made to address the $32 million increase in health care costs.
The goal for our team was to minimize adverse affect to everyone, including those with dependent coverage. Currently the District subsidizes dependent coverage at a cost of $72 million. Aronowitz reiterated the importance of maintaining a free option for employees.
Two options will continue, OAP10 (at a cost to employees) and OAP 20 (no cost to the employee). Dependent coverage for employees in the OAP 10 option could increase more than it would for those in OAP 20. Employees would have the option to change plans during open enrollment.
Some plan design changes could potentially affect everyone, but are expected to be only moderate out of pocket increases. Maximum out-of-pocket costs are proposed to stay the same. Individuals will have options to avoid the impact of most increases by making more efficient decisions on how they access health care.
Positive movement was made regarding co-payments for visits to specialists and for speech, physical and occupational therapy. Co-pays will be lowered from $70 to $50.
Co-payments could also be lowered from $20 to $10 for employees who use alternative options for basic health care at Convenience Care facilities such as Walgreens or CVS. These centers are good options for those looking for treatment for simple low risk illnesses.
Increase in individual deductibles for OAP10 could go from $250 to $500 and the OAP20 plan deductible could go from $500 to $750 for outpatient services. Caps on the maximum out of pocket would remain the same.
Primary care physician visits could go from $20 to $25.
Co-insurance for hospitalization for both plans would increase by 10% OAP10 co-insurance for hospitalization would go from 90%-10% to 80%-20% and for OAP20 co-insurance for out-of-network hospitalization will go from 80%-20% to 70%-30%
Employees who make informed and more cost efficient decisions regarding their own healthcare could avoid most of these increases.
The District reiterated, what they claimed to be their last proposal on salary that was an average 2% salary increase effective December -- for teachers only. At first this appeared to be regressive bargaining. A debate ensued and the district went into caucus, returning to the table to present their written proposal. The offer was for all UTD Bargaining Unit members to receive a 2% increase effective December 2012.
UTD rejected the District’s 2% proposal and reiterated our revised Proposal #1 including $40,000 starting salary for teachers, as well as step movement and $1500 at the top of the salary schedules for all bargaining unit members (teachers and support professionals).
UTD has been meeting with the District in a subcommittee to address the distribution of the RTTT grant money for the 2011-12 school year. Payout is dependent upon VAM scores and UTD was hopeful that it would be before the holidays. However, because of the problems the FLDOE has had with their VAM and FCAT processing, payments could be delayed to as late as June 30, 2013. Generally the plan would distribute money to more employees overall than the previous payout and includes ESE and Alternative Centers. RTTT 2011-12 is not part of the current negotiations.
Next Session Scheduled
The UTD Bargaining Team will return to the table on Thursday, November 8th at 9:00 a.m.