D9 and EPEA schedule mediation as EPEA meets to vote on strike

Another negotiating session between School District 9 and the Eagle Point Education Association is scheduled for Tuesday, Mar. 31, at 3:30 p.m. according to district officials. EPEA has scheduled a strike vote at 6 p.m. in a meeting to be held at Cascade Bingo. They plan to rally at various locations prior to that, but the voting process is open only to members of the union. Should the majority of those at the meeting vote to strike, at least 10 days notice must be given to the district.

Following are highlights of the Mar. 21 session, according to information distributed by each group:

The district continues to offer a three year contract. Samples of pay increases for three years show a certified teacher with a master’s degree and longevity pay is currently earning $62,014. Under the contract offered by the district for 08-09 with longevity pay, the salary would $63,255 retroactive to July 1 of 2008; $65,312 in 09-10 and $67,439 in 2010-11. A certified teacher currently earning $66,788 with a masters and longevity would earn $68,874 in 2010-11.This also includes a $750 stipend, longevity and masters pay.

The above examples include a two percent cost-of-living pay increase this year, a freeze on the cost-of-living for the next two years, but does include step increases of 3.4 percent each year. The salary does not reflect district costs for PERS and Social Security.

Classified staff samples include current pay of $28,190.40 plus longevity pay of $1,009, which totals $29,199.40. The district’s offer for 08-09, retro to July 1, 2008, would be $29,790.60 and in 2010-11 including longevity and a $500 stipend, the salary would be $31,550.60.

Classified staff salaries would also freeze after this year but do reflect a 4.5  percent step increase.

The district has also offered salary increases in 09-10 and 10-11 should State School Revenue reach a certain level. The salary increase would be one percent each year.

The district is offering full medical for all employees who work at least half-time. Insurance paid by the district for 08-09 would be $938 per month., increasing $20 a month next year and the year thereafter, totaling $978 in 2010-11. It is full family medical, dental and vision.  Where two members of the same family work for the district, the district wants members to name a primary person for insurance purposes and the district is offering to pay $125 a month into a Section 125 plan to the employee who is the dependent

The bargaining unit wants a two year contract with no salary freeze, retaining steps, and next year they want one percent increase and another one percent increase in January 2010. And they are asking for insurance to be paid by the district in 2009-10 in the amount of $1,010 a month. EPEA has offered to “opt out” for any member with dual insurance coverage and would share the savings equally between the member and the district.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent   

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