The West Hartford Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved a 4-year contract with the school district’s professional employees’ union.
There are 30 members of the bargaining unit, known as CSEA/SEIU Local 2001, comprising employees of the administrative offices, budget, business and transportation and IT departments.
The agreement, which runs retroactively from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2016, calls for a wage freeze in the first year (2012-13) and 2 percent salary increases in the remaining three years. There are also step increases in those three years.
Rick Ledwith, executive director of human services, said that the school district received major concessions in the areas of pensions, health insurance and sick leave upon retirement.
Specifically, employee health care contributions will increase from 13 to 16 percent for the HMO and 17 to 18.5 percent for the PPO.
Office visit and in-patient hospital co-pays will also increase, as will co-pays for prescriptions, Ledwith said.
Employee contributions to pensions will increase from 3 to 4.25 percent and employees hired after Oct. 14, 2013 will have a hybrid pension plan (defined benefit/defined contribution), which will enable the school district to realize more savings. The board and the employee are required to pay 2.25 percent of the employee’s base wages in the defined contribution portion of the plan, Ledwith said. In the private sector, that payment typically averages around 6 percent.
Finally, payment of half of the unused sick time upon retirement was eliminated for new hires, Ledwith said, which will save the town somewhere in the neighborhood of $600,000 to $700,000.Ledwith said that there are numerous other contracts that are either being negotiated or will open in the next year.