Pact Would Give Balto. Co. School Workers Job Security for 3 Years

… Health care contributions would rise in exchange for no layoffs or furloughs …

By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun

8:22 PM EST, January 13, 2012

Baltimore County school employees have reached a tentative agreement with the school system that would raise the contributions employees make to their health care plans over the next five years in exchange for guarantees that there will be no layoffs or furloughs for three years.

Over the next five years, the county’s contribution to their health care premiums would drop to 80 percent from 90 percent, which would bring school employees in line with other county workers.

School employees who elect to join an HMO would pay less than those who choose the other plans.

The tentative agreement, negotiated between Superintendent Joe A. Hairston and the four unions representing school employees, would commit the county to paying step increases over the next three years based on length of service.

“As a result of this agreement, all school system employees know that their jobs are secure for the next three years,” Abby Beytin, president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, said in a statement.

Last year, Baltimore County promised job security through 2014 for members of three public employee unions, but it is now in negotiations with unions that represent another 4,300 employees, or about half the county’s workforce, including the police union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, whose contracts expire in June. Those unions have not been given assurances on layoffs or furloughs.

Copyright © 2012, The Baltimore Sun

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