Contract Agreement Stresses Conservative Financial Management and Support for Students

HCS_circleThe Hilliard City Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a three-year contract with the Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) Local #310 during a special meeting on December 17. The agreement, which begins January 1, 2014, mirrors many aspects of the recently approved agreement with the Hilliard Education Association and ensures a fiscally responsible budget while preparing students to be ready for tomorrow.

“Our support staff members fill a variety of crucial roles in the education of our students,” said Board of Education President Andy Teater. “We value the services our classified staff members provide and believe this agreement allows us to honor that dedication while also recognizing the community’s desire for conservative financing with taxpayer dollars.”

Some of the highlights from the agreement include:

  • All OAPSE employees will receive a two percent increase in pay for each year of the agreement;
  • Future and current employees who average less than 30-hours per week will not be eligible to receive health or dental insurance benefits unless the part-time employee is enrolled in board provided coverage by December 31, 2013;
  • Establishing a 15 percent employee paid deductible for medical insurance for employees who work 30 hours or more per week and higher percentages for employees who work 16-29 hours per week;
  • Increasing employee out of pocket maximums for health insurance;
  • Establishing an employee share of co-insurance of five percent during the first year of the contract that increases to 10 percent during the second year of the contract;
  • Increasing both the employee share of dental insurance premiums as well as employee shares of dental benefit costs with the employee’s contributions changing based upon the number of hours the employee works;
  • Reducing the maximum threshold for dental insurance benefits in the second and third years of the contract;
  • Longevity payments were increased by $100; and,
  • In conjunction with the Smoke Free School proposal, smoking will not be permitted by any employee on school property at all times, including breaks.

“All of our classified staff members care greatly for our students and work together to provide them with the best educational experience and environment we can,” said OAPSE President Ryan Young. “We support our students and community by participating in multiple events throughout the year. Our members were included in the more than $21 million in budget reductions during the last several years and understand the sacrifices that must be made for the good of the community.”

Superintendent John Marschhausen noted that “Hilliard City Schools expects to reduce our health care costs by more than $3 million over the three years of both the HEA and OAPSE agreements. This falls in line with our continued conservative financial management structure while also focusing on retaining the highly qualified staff members serving our schools. We are so fortunate to have great support staff members who are part of our team and believe in a genuine partnership with our schools and community members.”

The previous contract agreement began in January 2008 and was extended to December 31, 2013. Part of the extension was in June 2011 where all employees agreed to increase health insurance premiums and pay freezes that saved the district more than $9.6 million over three Fiscal Years. The OAPSE membership approved the latest agreement on Monday, December 16. The new agreement begins January 1, 2014 and ends December 31, 2016 and applies to the approximately 477 or 28 percent of the district’s 1,686 employees.