The Crestwood School District and the Crestwood Education Association voted unanimously to adopt a new collective bargaining agreement Thursday October 29. The five-year contract runs through August 31, 2020.
Professional Compensation increases approved are: School Year 2015-2016, and 2016-2017, $2.75% increase each year; School Year 2017-2018, $2.95% increase; School Years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, 3.00% increase per year.
The employee benefit changes are significant. The Healthcare plan waiver benefit, where if two married employees are eligible for health care and one opts out, the maximum amount due to the non-covered employee will be $1,500 for a single and $5,000 for family coverage. The waiver reduction benefit was as high as 50% of the total premium in past contracts and 46% in the expired 2015 contract. Based on a health insurance plan premium of $20,000, the employee opting out of the insurance program received $10,000 cash back. Crestwood has paid out thousands of dollars in cash to employees eligible for the plan waiver option.
Other changes include increases of doctor visit co-pays to $20 for primary care physicians and $40 for specialists. ER visit co-pays will increase from $50 to $75. Prescription Drug tiers will be expanded for different plans including generic drugs, brand name and mail order with cost variations according to choice.
Crestwood employees will share in premium costs. Each year the percentage increases. For 2015-16 it is 4.00% of premium, 2016-2017 4.25% of premium, 2017-2018, 4.50% of premium, 2018-2019 5.00% of premium and 2019-2020 6.00% of premium. For a $20,000 health insurance annual premium the employee contribution will rise from $800 per year at the beginning of the contract to $1200 in the final year.
Chief Board Negotiator Gene Mancini, who is completing his 12th year of service on the board and will leave office in December, says that the benefit savings are for the entire district. “Employees share in paying part of the premium and the expanded co-pays. Employees will share in the ownership aspect of the plan. They will see premium costs stabilized.”