Monday, March 22, 2004

Portland School Board contract negotiation. It's about money, and the union. Will this ever be a good combination? I was hopeful when I saw the leader about how they agreed on a new contract that would, among other things, cap the expensive health insurance costs. This, I have gathered from some people, is an enormous cost to the state (as it is, I assume, for any employer). But the criticism is that the price paid by the state for teachers has been upwards of $950 dollars a month, which is pretty high.
There really isn't enough information in this article to decide if this is a good thing or not. For instance, a 4% increase for 1200 workers (what the contract covers, non-teaching staff) is pretty high, if this is what they get in exchange for the contracting of the health benefits. How much will the offset of saving $250 a month per employee be vs. paying the 4% increase in salary? How much of an increase would these employees be getting under the former contract? Is $700 a month a reasonable figure to pay for insurance? Why aren't the reporters doing their job here?

No comments: