Milford school hearing next week on teachers’ factfinder report

MILFORD – Voters will see the costs of a proposed three-year teachers’ contract at a public hearing next week that is part of a process to resolve a contract stalemate.

The Milford School Board will hold the hearing at 7 p.m. Monday, June 16, in Room 182 of the high school.

The board and the Milford Teachers Association petitioned superior court for an emergency special meeting to vote on a factfinder’s recommendations, and the court approved the petition June 10.

The emergency meeting will be held on Aug. 4 and then there will be a ballot vote on Sept. 9, state primary day.

The outcome will be based on a simple majority of those voting.

The two sides, which have been negotiating since last August, reached an impasse on two issues in December.

The first sticking point – that teachers drop their proposal for a 2.25 percent cost of living adjustment in the contract’s first year – was resolved when teachers accepted that recommendation.

The only remaining issue is the board’s proposal to create a Group 3 for heath insurance, made up of new employees who would have 80 percent of their premiums covered, instead of the 85 percent coverage of current teachers have.

The School Board says Milford teachers salaries are very competitive and adding a third tier would not affect teachers who are now employed and would help get the school district’s costs under control.

The Teachers Association, which represents about 218 members, says it is unfair to ask people who are doing the same job to have different levels of health insurance coverage. It also contends that more than half of the teachers are getting no step increases, which means they are getting no salary increases while they are burdened with increasing health insurance costs.

At the public hearing voters will be shown the factfinder’s report, as well as the contract costs.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at kcleveland@ cabinet.com or 673-3100, ext. 304.