By Sarah DeSantis, The News-Item
MANDATA — Line Mountain teachers and board members have come to an agreement.
On an 7-1 vote, the Line Mountain Board of Directors approved a tentative agreement on a contract lasting until June 2021 with the Line Mountain Education Association (LMEA) Tuesday, July 19.
The lone nay was Director David Scott Bartholomew, who did not give a reason for his dissent. Director Marlin Yeager Jr. was absent.
LMEA announced July 12 its members had voted to accept the tentative agreement, which was reached during a negotiation session with a mediator earlier this month. LMEA member Lydia Baumgartner confirmed the vote upon questioning by Superintendent David M. Campbell during the meeting.
More then four years of intense and often acrimonious negotiations fizzled out in a quiet meeting. Though approximately 40 teachers and members of the public were in attendance at the meeting, nobody spoke during the public comment period or cheered when the contract was approved. LMEA’s state representative, Mark McDade, was not in attendance.
Board President Troy Laudenslager said the contract is a compromise between the two parties.
“There was a lot of give and take on both sides,” he said.
The contract will be retroactive until the end of the last agreement between the two parties, a one-year contract extension that ended June 30, 2012, and continue for five additional school years until June 30, 2021.
Laudenslager said teachers will receive a $4,000 bonus for each of the four expired contract years worked, a total of $16,000 for teachers who have been with the district since the last contract expired. Teachers employed by the district during this time period will also receive movement up the pay scale as if they had progressed during the last four years.
The pay scale will not be increased for the years of no contract. Beginning with 2016-17, each step of the pay scale will increase by $500 per year, until the last year of the contract, which is 2020-21. Teachers will also move up the scale by one step each year between 2016-17 and 2020-21, if they continue to work for the district.
Teachers will also be given the option to enroll in two insurance plans. A plan with a higher deductible and a health savings account will have no premium share. Teachers participating in a PPO plan, which will have a $500 deductible for a single person or $1,000 deductible for a family, will pay 8 percent of the premium if they participate in a wellness program or 12 percent of the premium if they do not use the program. The current PPO plan has a deductible of $100 for a single person or $200 for a family, Laudenslager said.
Two areas of concern for the board, a retirement bonus and a class size stipulation, were deleted from the contract, Laudenslager said.
The final contract will be released to the public after several small language changes, such as the name of the insurance carrier, are made, he said.