The AAEA refutes the statement that the second proposal was a reiteration of its original position. The revised proposal significantly changed the method and the amount of healthcare premium sharing. In fact, the healthcare changes proposed by AAEA would result in one of the cheapest healthcare plans in the county with the highest premium sharing by the end of the contract. The changes would have resulted in a quarter million dollars savings in healthcare alone. Furthermore, the district proposal requires the teachers to pay a higher percentage than all other employees – including administrators.
With regard to salaries, the arbitrator points out that the Association increased the fifth year of the agreement and did not make any other changes. While this is true, the district previously proposed the step plus $1000 in the February 1, 2017 last-best offer. The fact is the salary schedule has not increased in five of the last six years. The arbitrator failed to point out that the district’s revised proposal for 2016-17 eliminated the retroactivity for 2016-17, which was regressive. Additionally, the arbitrator failed to see that the district proposed, in the initial last-best offer, step plus $900 for the 2017-18 school year but revised their proposal to lower the offer to $750 plus step, which is also regressive. The district regressed once again when they lowered the 2019-20 proposal from step plus $1000 to step plus $900.
The AAEA has consistently focused on trying to reach a fair settlement for the teachers, students, and the community. The membership will vote on the opinion within the ten-day window.