Council OKs BOE administrators' contract

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Jun. 27, 2013
Superintendent of Schools Alan Bookman explained the step increases and changes to healthcare benefits in the new Board of Education contract with the Glastonbury School Administrators' Association. Photos by Steve Smith.
Superintendent of Schools Alan Bookman explained the step increases and changes to healthcare benefits in the new Board of Education contract with the Glastonbury School Administrators' Association. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Glastonbury Town Council approved a four-year agreement between the Glastonbury Board of Education and the Glastonbury School Administrators' Association. The new contract would begin July 1, and last through June 30, 2018.

Superintendent of Schools Alan Bookman said there is a general wage increase in each year of the contract, beginning with 2.7 percent and arriving at 3.0 percent, with an increase of .1 percent each year. There is also, as an option, a higher-deductible, higher-co-pay health plan for administrators.

“We think we made it attractive enough,” said Bookman, “that we think we're going to see a large number of our employees go to this plan. Even if they do not go to the plan, we are going to see considerable savings.”

Bookman said some administrators will have fewer vacation days, and that administrators often have trouble taking vacation days. The special education administrator was also moved up a level, largely because people qualified for the position.

Overall, Bookman indicated that the contract is a win-win. “We think it's a favorable contract for us,” he said, “and we think it will be less-expensive for the administrators, at least as far as healthcare is concerned.”

Board of Education Chair Susan Karp said the process began last June with a discussion of goals, and was “very productive,” and added that the board recognized that the town has “an excellent administrative staff.” Karp added that the contract also kept in step with the board's goal of significant restructuring of healthcare benefits.

Councilman Larry Byar asked what the comparison is between the teachers' and other contracts.

Bookman said the negotiators looked at the teachers' contract, which will increase by a total of about 4 percent, while that of the administrators will be about 3 percent.

“I commend you on getting similar types of savings increases on the administrators' contract,” Byar said. “We definitely needed that.”

Councilman Whit Osgood wanted to clarify what percentage of the healthcare deductible will be paid by the board.

“Seventy-five percent of it will be paid by the board,” Bookman said, adding that the health savings account will ultimately offset that cost. “It's a very complicated system, when you look at healthcare in this country. There are savings even by doing that, and part of it is the psychological benefits of teachers, administrators and anyone who is on this plan. They will probably use less healthcare, knowing that any additional funds that are there will remain with them.”

“That's still a better deal to us than the old HMO,” Osgood said.

The council approved acceptance of the agreement, 7-0, with council members Jill Barry and Kurt Cavanaugh absent.


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