School district secretaries agree to health care caps

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published June 22, 2011


The secretaries in the Troy School District agreed to concessions that will save the district $700,000 over the next two years.

The Troy Board of Education unanimously approved the two-year contract with the 70 members of the Troy Educational Secretaries Association at a special meeting June 15.

Barbara Fowler, superintendent of the Troy School District, commended TESA for its willingness to compromise to protect the students’ learning environment.

“This agreement shows their commitment to our students in light of the difficult financial situation facing the district,” Fowler said.

TESA members voted to ratify the agreement June 13.

The contract includes 3 percent wage concessions for 2011-12 and 2 percent wage concessions for 2012-13, and freezes step wage increases. One paid holiday was eliminated.

The secretaries will pay more toward health care coverage. Their plan will now offer $500 or $1,000 deductibles, require office and prescription co-pays, and include hard caps on coverage of $6,700 for individuals and $16,500 for families.

Last month, the Board of Education unanimously ratified a two-year contract with Troy teachers that is estimated to save the district more than $10 million over two years through a freeze on step raises and an 11 percent contribution to health care. In the past, teachers paid medical and prescription co-pays, but not a portion of health care premiums.

“Overall, the district is very pleased to have come to a mutual agreement with the secretaries union which is consistent with the board’s ongoing commitment to being fiscally responsible and student-focused. Further, this agreement is in line with the concessions made by administrators, nonrepresented employees and other union groups during this period where the district has had to make significant reductions to its overall budget,” Jasen Witt, assistant superintendent of human resources for the Troy School District, said.

Earlier this spring, district officials said that in order to balance the budget in light of steep reductions in state revenue, the district had to slash $8 million. The board must adopt the 2011-2012 budget by July 1.

TESA representatives could not be reached for comment by press time.