To the Times of Ti:
There was a great article in the Post-Star last week concerning school employees insurance. Everything I’m about to say is stated in the article. Teacher’s health insurance premiums are going up 12 percent this year. There are 2 plans employees can purchase. The most expensive one will cost $21,828 yearly for a family’s coverage. The other one costs $18,300 yearly for a family’s coverage. Of course the employees only pay 10 percent of that, the rest comes out of Our budget. Last year we paid 2.9 million for health insurance and now it’s going up 12 percent. The article stated what some other school districts employees pay for their insurance.
Glens Falls teachers: 16.5 percent. Queensbury teachers: 12 percent. Warrensburg 10 percent South Glens Falls 11 percent to 20 percent depending when they were hired. New York state public employee’s federation is up to 31 percent. The private sector average is 25 percent.
Districts are being forced to negotiate higher employee contributions to help offset escalating insurance cost. We need to do the same thing.
Our teacher’s contract was up this year so it was a great opportunity for our board to address insurance premiums contribution and salary increases over the next 4 years. What did they do? They extended the current contract for 2 more years with a 2.8 percent increase in salaries. Why would they do that knowing this year was going to be a very challenging budget year? I have asked them that now for the third time. So far no answer! My opinion is we have a very pro teacher/employee board. Most all of them have relatives working for the school. This is acceptable according to the New York school laws, but the perception can be questionable. My perception is that if a board member has a relative working in the school system their opinions and/or votes are going to be pro relative for obvious reasons. My advice to you is, that in the future do not vote in board members who have relative working the school district.