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SOUTH BURLINGTON SCHOOL DISTRICT

500 DORSET STREET Phone: 802-652-7250


SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT 05403 Fax: 802-652-7257
OFFICE: FREDERICK H. TUTTLE MIDDLE SCHOOL E-mail: sbsd@sbschools.net

Press Release
October 6, 2017

Contact: Elizabeth Fitzgerald at efitzgerald@sbschools.net or


Bridget Burkhardt at bburkhardt@sbschools.net

After 11 months of negotiations, the South Burlington School Board and the South
Burlington Educators Association (SBEA) agreed to the terms of a two-year contract
for the citys teachers in the early morning hours of October 4. The contract spans the
period from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019. Salaries and cost-sharing arrangements for
healthcare benefits were the most significant proposals still under discussion as the
parties entered the final 10-hour mediation session on Tuesday evening.

We are pleased that we have been able to negotiate an agreement that we believe
reflects the needs of all stakeholders, including teachers, children, families, and
taxpayers, said Martin LaLonde, Clerk of the School Board.

With respect to salaries, the parties agreed to a 2.17% increase in FY 2018, with the
new funds distributed across the salary schedule in flat dollar increments - $2,000 for
teachers in the BA columns and $1,700 for those in the MA columns, with the exception
of those at MA+30, step 18, who received raises of $1,500. Teachers were held on step
for FY 2018, and the average raise for FY 2018 was $1,679.

The Board agreed to return to an indexed methodology to calculate salaries in FY 2019,


using multipliers that have been recalibrated based on the flat dollar raises that were
provided in FY 2018. The parties agreed to a small adjustment to the top step
Masters+30, step 18 from 2.01 to 2.015 times the base salary. Teachers will also
advance on step on the salary schedule in FY 2019. In total, the agreement for FY 2019
adds 2.49% new money to teachers salaries.

Healthcare plans provided to employees by the District will be replaced with 4 new
plans developed by the Vermont Education Health Initiative (VEHI) as of January 1,
2018. The District will continue to pay 83% of the premium cost for the VHP Dual
Option plan (the one currently used by more than 90% of the Districts employees) for
the first six months of the contract. Teachers will pay 17% plus any out-of-pocket costs,
which, for this plan, average approximately $400 per covered life per year in co-pays.
This represents the same cost-sharing arrangement as in the last year of the previous
contract. For the second six months of FY 2018 and through FY 2019, the District will
pay 80% of the premium cost of the CDHP Gold plan toward the premium of the plan
chosen by the employee.
Press Release
October 6, 2017
Page 2

While premiums are lower for the new health plans, maximum out-of-pocket (OOP)
costs are higher. Employees will pay the first $400 (single plan)/$800 (two-person or
parent/child(ren) plan)/$1,000 (family plan) of OOP costs on an annual basis. The
District will then pay the remainder of the OOP maximum on the CDHP Gold plan
through a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), up to $2,100 (single
plan)/$4,200 (two-person or parent/child plan)/$4,000 (family plan). If an employee
chooses another plan, they will be responsible for any remaining OOP amounts beyond
the Districts contribution.

Employees have the option of establishing a tax-advantaged Health Savings Account


(HSA) to fund OOP expenses as an alternative to the employer-owned HRA, and the
District will match employee contributions up to $400 for single, $800 for 2-person and
parent/child(ren) and $1,200 for family coverage. Funds in an HSA become an
employee-owned asset and can be built up over time to pay for healthcare costs.

The Board has worked hard to address the needs of our teachers as expressed by the
SBEA, and we believe this agreement accomplishes that. The contract also makes
progress on the Boards goals of making compensation for our more junior teachers
more competitive and improving the sustainability of the Districts budget. We are
pleased that both sides were willing to make the concessions necessary to reach an
agreement without a strike, said Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Chair of the Board.

The SBEA ratified the terms of the contract at a meeting on Wednesday, October 4. The
Board unanimously ratified the terms during a special meeting on Friday, October 6.
In addition to the terms of the contract, the parties agreed to implement a side letter on
rules related to faculty meetings and a separate letter regarding the cash-in-lieu
payment received by employees who decline District health coverage. Further details
regarding the contract and the side letters will be posted on the District website at
https://www.sbschools.net/Page/716.