MEDINA -- Medina City Teachers Association has approved a new contract with a salary freeze and increase in insurance costs.
All 407 teachers cast their votes and the tally was completed just after 4 p.m.
A union official said longevity or step pay increases remain in the contract, but teachers were asked to accept a salary freeze for two years.
Teachers will pay more towards their health insurance, up from 17.5 percent to 20 percent.
This comes just a week after an uproar over an $83,000-bonus that was paid to Superintendent Randy Stepp as part of his new, five-year contract.
Once pressured by the union and parents protests, he said he will pay back the bonus. He also said he'll give up merit raises that could total up to $36,000.
The cash-strapped district, seeks a 5.9-mill levy on the May ballot after several past levies had failed.
The MCTA released the statement below:
MCTA Ratifies Contract Despite No Confidence/No Trust in BQE and Stepp
The Medina City Teachers Association ratified the tentative agreement reached with The Board of Education. In our approval of this agreement, MCTA recognizes that sacrifice and fiscal responsibility is crucial. The teachers' contract, which began July 1, 2012 and expires June 30,2014, includes no increase on the base salary. Health care premiums, however, have increased from a 17.5% to 20% monthly premium starting in June of 2014.
The base salary for teachers has now been frozen through two contracts, MCTA voted yes for yet another concessionary contract - even with the knowledge of "the 83" and "the 244." In addition, with the understanding that courses and programs return, the high school teachers offered to teach an additional class period - potentially boosting class offerings from 450 to over 500.
We hope the administration embraces this opportunity to add classes for students. We encourage high school parents to call and ask what courses and programs will be restored or added. Medina City Schools has lost well over 100 dedicated teachers these last few years. While The BOE and Superintendent Stepp were negotiating his $1.2 million dollar contract, and while Superintendent Stepp had his college tuition paid retroactively through the Medina County Educational Service Center, elementary and middle school children lost guidance counselors, reading intervention specialists and programs.
We encourage elementary and middle school parents to call and ask what programs and services will be restored or added. While The BOE and District Treasurer, Jim Hudson, attempt to somehow equate teacher step raises to Superintendent Stepp's contract, nothing could be further from the truth -- nothing.
The BOE asks teachers give back while they continue to give Superintendent Stepp: an $83,000 bonus, annuity payments, tuition reimbursements of $244,000, gym memberships, car allowances and even a charity stipend. In the last few years, MCTA. has given back $4 million dollars to our district. Those real dollar savings continue with this contract. Had it not been for vigilant citizens and MCTA, the decisions made over the past few years with taxpayer money may have never come to light. We are community members.
We are parents of our students. We are taxpayers with a vested interest in our community. Although MCTA has expressed its lack of trust and confidence in the current BOE and current superintendent, the teachers of Medina City Schools maintain trust and confidence in our community.
MCTA is proud to bargain in good faith, proud to model how to act and proud to teach in our schools.