The Burlington School Board ratified a two-year contract with the Burlington Education Association (BEA) during an emergency meeting Wednesday night at Edmunds Middle School. The Board’s ratification came shortly after BEA membership voted to ratify the agreement during an afternoon meeting. Ratification by both groups now makes the settlement official.
“This agreement provides teachers with both a raise and substantial health insurance savings while also being fiscally responsible to our community by ensuring that compensation increases fall within reasonable boundaries,” said Commissioner Mark Barlow, a member of the Board’s negotiating team.
The contract will also advance the District’s stated goal of reducing the achievement gap by dedicating more of its teaching resources to the service of supporting students whose needs are not easily met by traditional models.
“The Board recognizes that recent weeks have been tremendously difficult for our entire community,” said Commissioner Stephanie Seguino, Chair of the Board’s Negotiations Committee. “Board members are committed to learning from this experience. Our goal in moving forward is to work with the BEA and teachers in a way that is collaborative, builds bridges, and heals old wounds.”
This has been incorporated into the settlement, with the parties agreeing to investigate joint collaboration and trust-building efforts to improve the labor management relationship.
The ratified two-year contract, retroactive to September 1st, includes the following provisions:
- 2.5% in Year 1
- 2.75% in Year 2
- District pays 81% in Year 1 / Employee pays 19% (effective 1/1/2018)
- District pays 80% in Year 2 / Employee pays 20% (effective 9/1/2019)
Out of Pockets Limits
- $400 maximum exposure for those on single coverage
- $800 maximum exposure for those on 2 person or family coverage
The agreement on health insurance benefits results in lower teacher health care costs than under the current plan that will save employees hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year.
- Additional focused teacher time devoted to closing the achievement gap and reducing the high school dropout rate.
- Use of this time will be informed by a committee co-chaired by BHS principal and BEA and include teachers and administrators as members.
- Duties (lunch, recess, door) limited to no more than 3 per week to accommodate grade level planning to close the achievement gap.