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GEA, district ink four year contract



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December 22, 2010 - Goodrich- Following a closed session on Monday night, the school board voted 7-0 to approve a four year contract with the Goodrich Teachers Association.

The 105 district teachers had been working without a contract for about a year-and-a-half—which featured several informational pickets along with a host of negotiations. Both sides came to an agreement on Dec. 10. The GEA and the school board approved the deal on Dec. 20.

Cindy Rivet, Goodrich Education Association president was happy with the contract approved by members.

"The teachers' insurance was the biggest sticking point, followed by wages," she said. "We understand the state economy has taken a nose dive and the district wanted to contain costs—to keep an affordable health plan. Our goal was to keep decent coverage for our teachers. We stayed with MESSA (Michigan Education Special Services Association) as our insurance. Teachers are assuming more costs for their care. The board is sending a message that they do value what we bring (to the district), it's reflected on how students do on tests. We do have an excellent education program and the board recognizes that."

"The teachers have been without a contract. The stance was to get an equitable contract for the teachers—the bond issue was not discussed in any negotiations."

Revet said there's still a contract for the CMPT (Custodians, Maintenance, Parapros and Transportation) that needs to be settled.

The school board team of Jeff Gardner, Tim Zirnhelt and Linda Jackson, along with District Superintendent John Fazer, expressed approval of the deal.

"We settled the contract in the best interest of the district and staff," said Fazer. "We are happy with providing quality insurance for our staff and a rate that saves the district $336,000. They (GEA) selected the insurance package and agreed that to contain costs the district would pay the first 5 percent of an increase and they would cover the next 5 percent. Any more increases we would split. It's very positive."

The contract also contains a pay increase of 1 percent for the 2010-2011 school year starting in February. The 2011-2012 school year will include a 1/2 percent pay increase and 1 percent for the 2012-13 school year.

"It's a four-year deal with no retroactive pay for 2009-2010.".

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