Home>Our District>Headlines>Uncategorized>Public Statement on Status of Negotiations with Teachers
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Members of the community and employees of the District have approached members of the Oakridge Public School’s Board of Education related to the collective bargaining process with our Teachers. This public statement is to address those inquiries in a legal and ethical manner.
The Oakridge Board of Education (Board) and the Oakridge Education Association (Teachers) have met to negotiate a successor collective bargaining agreement (contract) on four occasions between June 15, 2017 and August 3, 2017 with two additional meetings scheduled in the coming weeks. The negotiation teams from both the Board and the Teachers have discussed contractual matters related to compensation, fringe benefits, professional development, teaching conditions, leaves of absence, and extra-duty/coaching compensation. The Board will proceed through this negotiation process with integrity, respect, and with the intent to come to quick agreement on fair and market competitive compensation, benefits, and other contractual matters.
During the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years, Teachers received “step increases” which averages out to an approximate 2% compensation increase each year but varies from teacher to teacher. An additional compensation increase of 1% was provided to teachers in the 2016-17 school year because the Board/Teachers agreed that this would occur if the District’s financial condition reached a minimum level of a 10% fund balance which is an indicator of financial stability. This equates to approximately 5 weeks of expenditures. Auditors recommend having a minimum fund balance of 15%.
For the 2017-18 school year, the Board has offered the teachers “step increases” (avg. 2% increase). Additionally, the Board has committed to pay the following state-mandated annual “hard cap” amounts for employee medical insurance costs: full family – $17,304.02, two-persons – $13,268.93, and single – $6,344.80. This is 3.3% more than what the Board paid the prior school year. All employees pay medical insurance costs above these “hard cap” amounts.
The Teachers have proposed “step increases” (avg. 2% increase) and a 1.85% increase to the salary schedule in each of the next 3 years. This amounts to, on average, a 3.85% increase in compensation each school year. Teachers have also proposed that the Board pay 80% of the cost of medical insurance instead of the “hard caps”.
The Board has worked to improve the District’s financial condition since the 2011-2014 school years when the District’s fund balance hovered around 5%. Such efforts included cutting approximately $3 million from the District’s budget over a 3-year period without reducing compensation of current employees. The current projected fund balance for the 2017-18 school year is 9% pending enrollment and unknown expenses throughout the year.
The Board remains committed to offering market competitive compensation to employees. Our Teachers’ salary schedule is competitive when compared to the District’s in the State that are most like Oakridge in size (enrollment) and socioeconomic status. The Board is dedicated to continuing the negotiation process with the Teachers and is confident that the parties will reach a fair agreement that is in the best interest of the District, employees, and its students.