The and its teachers have reached a new contract. The BHS Board of Education on Thursday unanimously approved the three-year pact with the Bloomfield Hills Education Association with the expectation to save roughly $2 million over the next two years.
The biggest change comes in health care benefits, which teachers will now share a greater responsibility for through the establishment of health-savings accounts. Although common in the private sector, these accounts are not the norm for public school districts but are becoming more popular, said Christine Barnett, assistant superintendent for human resources and labor relations.
Under the plan, teachers will pay a $1,250 deductible for individuals or $2,500 for family for services with in-network physicians. They will still have 100 percent of preventative care paid for, and can qualify for money back by participating in a health-risk assessment program.
Salaries will not increase for two years, unless teachers reach their top step classification. The contract will reopen after two years to discuss a new salary structure that could be implemented when the contract expires.
Frank Laurinec, the outgoing president of the BHEA, said the teachers overwhelmingly approved the proposal during a meeting on June 14 and encouraged board members to approve it.
Deal Reached With Administrators
The district and its Administrative Council also agreed to a multi-year contract this week.
The council, comprised of 24 members that includes building principals and managers at the Bowers School Farm and E.L. Johnson Nature Center, agreed to the same changes in their health care benefits as the teachers for the next three years. The one major difference is that the district will now allow administrators to take an annual $750 cafeteria benefit plan as cash. The money could be used toward their health care deductibles, if they choose, Barnett said.
The group voluntarily implemented a step and wage freeze last year as part of the district's efforts to balance the budget last year. The district expects to break even on the changes next year, but can save roughly $67,000 the following year.
The board also unanimously approved another year to Superintendent Rob Glass' contract. Glass was hired in 2010 and signed a three-year deal that was extended for one year by the board in 2011. Glass took a 5 percent pay cut to help balance the budget last year, but the board restored his full salary for the remainder of his contract.
Board President Ingrid Day said Glass received a "glowing" performance evaluation at the end of this year, which included the development of the high school consolidation plan and corresponding millage.
"The impact rob has had in this comm in past six months has been extraordinary," Day said. "It has been a game changer for our community and school district."