June 20, 2018
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School staff contract in Brewer extended

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BREWER, Maine – The city school committee has extended the contract for the school department’s nonteaching staff, Superintendent Daniel Lee said Wednesday.

At its meeting Monday, the committee extended the contract by a year, and no changes were made, he said.

School administrators and the Brewer Education Association are working on a new contract for teachers and held an executive session at the end of Monday’s meeting but did not complete a deal, Lee said.

“We’re still negotiating,” he said.

Teachers and the district agreed to a one-year contract last year that included a 1 percent raise. Teacher contracts for Brewer traditionally have been for three years, and Lee said negotiators had yet to nail down the length of the next contract.

The school board also discussed and then endorsed a resolution supporting affordable health insurance through competition.

Insurance for school employees falls under the Maine Education Association, and the resolution asks that school departments be able to pursue insurance options that exist on the market, purchase insurance through competitive bids and allow partnering with the Maine state employee group health insurance plan.

“They’ve done a terrific job” in recent years of holding health insurance cost increases to 1 percent, “but they can’t do that forever,” Lee said. “The school committee feels it will be helpful to have a more transparent look at health care.”

The resolve also asks the MEA to share information with all other health insurers so all could offer competitive bids.

Doing so could possibly “save the employee and the school department” some serious funds, Lee said.

During the meeting, the board also:

ä Heard a presentation by Sara White about the yearly Jobs for Maine’s Graduates report.

ä Welcomed junior Jacob Joy as a student representative on the school board.

ä Hired Col. Robert Freniere as the Senior Aerospace Instructor for the Air Force Junior ROTC program to replace Maj. Connie Hoksch, who was transferred to Asia. Lee also announced that the JROTC target rifle team has qualified to go to a national competition in Georgia in April.

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