ProJo: Teacher Benny’s “All over the board”
The ProJo reports that teacher benefits in RI are “all over the board” and gives some stats in the differences among plans by district and differences in buyback options. It’s an old and familiar tune around here, but the central point is worth repeating:
Last year, after a decade in which health insurance emerged as a critical and contentious contract issue, 33 of the state’s 36 districts required some form of cost sharing. But teacher contribution still trails private sector workers in the state by a wide margin — although in some communities teachers are paying far more than other public employees.
Hey, school boards and city councils are as at fault as the unions here, folks. In the world of collective-bargaining, they haven’t been up to snuff (even granting their amateurish experience versus those employed by unions solely to bargain). But maybe going forward, they can take Rhode Island Federation of Teachers President Marcia Reback statement–that “to the people I represent, health insurance is as important — if not more important — than salaries”–as a way to prioritize negotiable line-items. But perhaps the biggest line-item that can be dispensed with is the asinine “buy back” options that are still included in nearly all state contracts–teacher and otherwise. It can’t be that difficult to determine if an employee is covered by their public-employee spouses health insurance, can it?