In an effort to provide accurate information to the public about the ongoing negotiations, the following information is being released again by the MSAD 58 Board of Directors.

First, the Board of Directors is anxious to settle this prolonged contract negotiation with the Mount Abram Teachers Association. To that end the Board has complied with all three of the Arbitrator Recommendations.

1. Wages – The Board is abiding by the Arbitration Panel Recommendations of 4.5 percent salary increase which equals $175,000 in district teacher salary increases. The Board agreed with the 4.5 percent total salary increase recommended by the arbitration panel. This percentage would cost the district about $175,000.

The teachers presented a salary scale which represented their wishes. The Board considered the salary scale and agreed to it provided the cost did not exceed $175K, (which was equal to about the 4.5 percent increase). Additionally, within this, the Board will allow the retroactive raises for two retired teachers, so long as this cost is also included in the total $175,000.00.

2. Health Insurance – The Board is abiding by the Arbitration Panel recommendations. Despite the Board’s continued concerns about the rising insurance premiums and how premiums are now assigned, the Board is willing to accept the arbitrators’ recommendation on insurance a 5 percent reduction in Board contributions for single plans and a 5 percent reduction in Board contributions for dependent plans. The Board is willing to accept this in order to put these negotiations behind the parties.

3. Reduction in Force Language – The Board is abiding by the Arbitration Panel recommendations. The Board agrees to include its recommended reduction in force language.

Not included in negotiations previously, negotiating successor contracts. This has not been on the table at all during negotiations until February 2015, and therefore there are not Arbitration Panel Recommendations on this issue.

The Mt. Abram Teachers Association wants the Board to agree to contract language guaranteeing not to freeze salaries in the event of prolonged negotiations for all subsequent contract negotiations. This means, teachers will receive their step raises while negotiating. This would be about a 2.5 percent increase in wages per year while negotiating.

The Board believes this may contribute to another prolonged negotiation. Few, if any, districts in the state allow this. The Board will not agree to this as they do not relish the thoughts of another extended contract negotiation.

Additionally: The MSAD#58 Board of Directors does not support the recent attacks on the Chairman of the MSAD#58 Board of Directors. All decisions made for the district are decisions made by 14 members.