GF Teacher Talks
Doug Barrett | May 16, 2019 AT 8:10 am
Contract talks between teachers and the Grand Forks School Board resumed this week with the district making a counter offer.
The teachers had requested a three and five percent pay bump in each of the next two years. The board made a counter proposal of a two and two-percent plan – with a twist. The board offer would see the district pick up the entire tab for the contribution to the Teachers Retirement Fund. Right now the teachers contribute 11.5% and the district 12.75% to the benefit.
Business Manager Scott Berge says the savings per teacher could be in the neighborhood of 500 dollars. Teachers would realize the savings through lower Social Security and Medicare deductions. Berge says the district would also see a reduction of roughly 400-thousand dollars through a Social Security match. He notes that roughly one-third (37%) of North Dakota districts have adopted the model.
The board plan – combined with step increases – equates to a 4.8% increase in year one…and a 4.7% increase in year two of the contract. Teachers did raise concerns about how the plan would impact long-range Social Security payments upon retirement.
The two sides are scheduled to meet again on June 3rd.