finding results released
and administration receive recommendations
Beth Rumsey, Staff Writer
Results of the fact finding regarding the collective bargaining
process between the Jac-Cen-Del Community School Corporation and
the Jac-Cen-Del Educators Association, JCDEA, were released on Friday,
February 13. In this report, James Dworkin, fact finder for the
Indiana Education Employment Relations Board (IEERB), gave his recommendations
for matters such as salary, retirement contributions, and health
insurance, in which both parties were at an impasse.
Dworkin was appointed as fact finder for a hearing held on November
25, 2008. At this hearing, the JCDEA and the board were given the
opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues still in
dispute during the contract bargaining process. Bargaining for the
new contract began in January 2008. After unable to come to an agreement,
mediation sessions were held in February and July of the same year
and did not lead to a settlement.
Both parties have some pretty good arguments, with regard
to salary increase, Dworkin said in his report. The association
requested a 3.15% increase for 2007-2008 with the board offering
a 1 5/8% increase.
According to the association, JCD beginning salary, for those with
a Masters Degree, and career earning all rank last compared to area
schools. The board points out that due to the decline in enrollment,
a loss of 44 students in the 2008-2009 school year alone, support
from the state was reduced. It was also noted that due to the uncertain
financial future, the corporation wanted to be conservative with
Dworkin found the position of both parties to be extreme. The associations
proposal of 3.15% was too high and that the JCD School Corporation
cannot afford such an increase. He believes that the boards
proposal can be improved upon, and therefore recommended that the
parties agree on a 2% increase in salaries.
The association requested a 2.5% increase in salary for drivers
education teachers, while the board proposed 1 5/8%. After reviewing
the evidence presented, Dworkin believed that the association did
not offer a valid explanation for the high increase. His recommendation
was for the 1 5/8% increase proposed by the board.
Health insurance, according to the report, is perhaps the
most difficult of all the issues dividing the parties. The
question is, with health care costs continuing to increase, who
is going to pay for them?
Currently, the corporation pays $363 a month for a single plan,
and $680 a month for the family health plan. The board proposed
to maintain the current contribution levels, while the association
requested to have the single plan increased to $418 per month and
the family plan increased to $788 per month.
The association pointed out that insurance premiums increased by
10% in January 2009. According to the association, teachers have
been forced to pay all of the increased costs.
JCD School Corporation is part of a health insurance consortium.
According to evidence presented by the association at the November
hearing, the average single plan premium for members of the consortium
is $6,390, with the JCD plan costing $7,284. The average family
plan for consortium members is $17,284, with the JCD plan premium
The association also noted that board payment in the consortium
to be an average of $5,089 for the single plan and $10,348 for the
family plan. The JCD board, according to the association, pays $4,356
for the single plan and $8,160 for the family plan. It is the associations
stance that a teacher taking family coverage in 2008 will incur
an additional amount of $1,800, the entire amount of the premium
The board has encouraged the teachers to move away from the most
expensive plan option in favor of the lower cost options. Although
Dworkin finds the associations proposal too high, he believes
some increase in the premium paid is warranted. He recommends that
the corporation pay $388 monthly for the single plan and $725 for
the family health insurance plan, effective as soon as the new master
contract is signed.
The association also requested an increase in the corporation contribution
to the 401(a) plans. Currently, the contract requires the corporation
to contribute 1% of the teachers salary into the account.
The association wants the contribution rate to be 1.25%, while the
board has proposed to maintain the current rate.
According to Dworkin's report, the association rationale for this
demand is that an increase to the 401 (a) plan, and that the retirement
savings plan contribution be maintained at the current 1%. The
extra money is best spent on all teachers instead of just the younger
ones, he said.
Other recommendations made by Dworkin included the contract extended
to three years and a three year phase in for gender equity at an
increase of 1 5/8% for 2007-2008, and the same amount in 2008-2009
The IEERB was established by statute in 1973 to promote relationships
between public school teachers and their respective school corporations.