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New contract for teachers

KENT — A new contract has been finalized for teachers at Kent Center School. An announcement was made Nov. 28 that the Kent Board of Education (BOE) and the Kent Center School Faculty Association have reached a new contract agreement that will run from July 2012 through June 2014.The contract provides a general wage increase of 1 percent for the first contract year with mid-year movement for teachers who are not at the maximum step of the salary schedule. Steps are based on a teacher’s years of experience as well as his or her degrees and certifications.The BOE and faculty association also reached agreement on an important change in the base health insurance plan. This change is expected to result in immediate savings for both the school district and teachers over the life of the contract. As of July 1, 2012, the high-deductible health care plan, a consumer-driven insurance plan that is the base plan for all Kent teachers, will be revised to include co-payments for prescription drug purchases made after the annual deductible is reached in a given plan year.The annual premiums for the modified high-deductible health-care plan are expected to be 5 percent lower than in the current plan. The BOE expects its annual employee health insurance premium costs to decrease by approximately $16,500 in the 2012-13 fiscal year as a result of this change.In a written press release, Region One Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain, Kent Board of Education Chairman Tracy Horosky and board member Paul Cortese said “the tone of the 2011 negotiation discussions was respectful, open and collaborative.”

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