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Westside Digest

Culver City : Tentative Teachers Accord

October 05, 1989

The Culver City Teachers Assn. on Monday unveiled to teachers a tentative agreement with the district that includes a 6% pay raise and new health benefits for retirees but also has higher health insurance co-payments and a 1.45% salary deduction for teachers who wish to buy into the Medicare system.

Many of the 120 teachers attending the meeting at Farragut Elementary School expressed disappointment at the tentative agreement, which is for this school year.

Under the agreement, the district will pay $1,250 per year for health insurance for future retirees after age 65, to supplement Medicare coverage they may have. Retirees do not have any district health benefits.

The district will increase its contribution by 7% for teachers who are under a fee-for-service health plan. But the the total increased cost is higher, so a teacher's payment for individual coverage will go up from $41 to $57 a month, said association President Bess Doerr.

The agreement also adopts a new state provision in which teachers can buy into Medicare by paying 1.45% of their salary, which will be matched by a district contribution.

Howard Bennett, chairman of the School Employees Assn. for Lifetime Health Coverage, said the increase in teacher payments for the fee-for-service health plan, the 1.45% contribution for Medicare and increases in the cost of living eliminate any gain in buying power from the 6% raise.

Bennett urged teachers to reject the contract in the ratification vote Oct. 10. "It doesn't take a math teacher--and I'm an English teacher--to figure out this is no deal," he said later.

Doerr said she expects the contract to be ratified in a close vote. The district and the teachers union have been negotiating since June over salary and benefits for this year, the second in a three-year contract.

The agreement would cover about 280 teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians. The district's 250 custodians, instructional aides, cafeteria workers and other classified employees--under a "me too" clause in their contract--will get the same salary and benefit provisions that teachers get, Assistant Supt. Ralph Villani said.

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