Members of the Muncie Teachers’ Association met late this afternoon and this evening to ratify the 2017-2018 contract between the Muncie Teachers’ Association and the Muncie Community School Corporation. The agreement, which provides no salary increases for teachers, does lower their health insurance premiums and will help the school district achieve a substantial reduction in teacher health insurance costs.
Emergency Manager, Steve Edwards, stated that contract negotiations were amicable as both sides worked to reach an agreement. “It is a difficult time for the school district and both sides came to the table with the realization that costs had to be reduced,” Edwards said.
Pat Kennedy, MTA president, believes each party recognized the needs of the other and worked toward middle ground on the three major areas within the contract – salaries, health insurance and early retirement benefits. “Each of these areas was discussed in depth,” said Kennedy, “and compromises were made by both parties. “
Though she doesn’t expect teachers to feel overjoyed with the contract for this year, Kennedy hopes it will provide a sense of relief. “Teachers will not have to continue through another year of financial uncertainty which has caused a great deal of stress in the lives of the teaching staff and been a significant factor in the exodus of teachers from Muncie.”
The contract reduces MCS teacher health insurance costs by approximately $1.9 million over the previous year. Another primary focus of negotiations was teacher retirement health insurance. Teachers who qualify for the early retirement benefit and submit retirement paperwork by June 30, 2018, will be eligible to receive 75% of the school district’s contribution toward the single plan at a reduced cost. After June 30, 2018, teacher retirement health insurance benefits are eliminated.