The West Chester School Board voted to approve a three-year contract with the district’s support staff on Monday night. A concession by the support staff union on health care will save the district an estimated $380,000 over the life of the contract.
“This contract represents the true spirit of compromise,” said board president Vince Murphy. “The West Chester Service Support Professionals recognized that it was financially necessary for us to make changes with our insurance plan offerings and other benefits, and they worked with us to make this contract a reality.”
Still, board member Heidi Adsett voted no on the contract; the only member of the board to do so.
“I cannot support any contract that involves forced unionism,” Adsett said. “It is my belief that that decision should be left up to the employee.”
The main change in the health insurance plan came when union members agreed to make cost-sharing contributions that amount to 10 percent in the first year of the contract and then 12 percent and 14 percent in the subsequent years.
Support staff workers will also receive a 24 cent hourly raise in the first year of the contract and a 49 cent and 38 cent raise the following years.
“I want to thank both sides for their hard work in getting this deal done,” said board member Sean Carpenter.
Board member Dr. Maria Pimley added, “In the long-run this deal will be beneficial to both sides.”