Teachers in the Wolf Creek Local school district will receive pay increases in exchange for insurance concessions.
The district's board of education unanimously approved a new three-year contract with members of the Wolf Creek Local Education Association during an early morning meeting on May 31.
The agreement creates a two-tiered insurance system. Workers who choose the first option, a traditional plan which includes prescription drug coverage, will receive a half-percent increase to their base salary, while those who take the new health savings account option will receive a 2 percent raise, district officials said.
Superintendent Bob Caldwell said the first option will no longer include a self-funded, medical employee reimbursement plan, meaning the insurance will cover 80 percent of costs after meeting the deductible - $200 for single and $400 for family - instead of 90 percent.
A health savings account is required by the Internal Revenue Service to have a minimum deductible of $2,500, but that means premiums would typically be at a lower cost, Caldwell said.
"It's a high-deductible plan that has a lot of things paid for 100 percent," he said.
The exact savings won't be known until employees select which plan they want, but the health savings account is expected to generate the most savings for the district, which is why those employees would receive a larger pay increase.
Caldwell noted the district's teachers have not received a base salary increase for two years.
The contract contains a reopener for the third year, depending on what happens with American Electric Power's Muskingum River Plant, Caldwell said. Four of the plant's five generators are slated to be shut down by the end of 2015. There has been talk of converting the fifth generator, the only one located in the district, from coal-fired to natural gas, but a final decision has not been made.
The board's next regular meeting has been rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. June 28 in the Waterford High School library.