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Decatur school district, teaching assistants union to bargain later this month

Decatur school district, teaching assistants union to bargain later this month


DECATUR — A contract could be on the horizon for teaching assistants who have been in negotiations with the school district since April. 

District officials and leaders of the Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants on Feb. 26 will make another attempt to reach an agreement over a contract. Their last meeting was in December. 

Two main sticking points in the negotiations that since August have included a federal mediator, have been over health insurance and fair wages. Teaching assistants went on strike for three days in October with support from the Illinois Federation of Teachers. 

DFTA leaders have said the district's health insurance proposals are not affordable while the district has said their plans are reasonable.

Teaching assistants currently pay $900 annually for single employee coverage and $3,300 for family coverage over 18 pay periods, or nine months of the year while they are working. The district's health insurance proposal offers a high-deductible plan with lower monthly premiums in addition to a comparable level of coverage with higher monthly premium costs. 

Under the lower-deductible plan, costs would range from $1,471.56 for a single employee to $8,159.28 for family coverage in 2023, the final year of the contract. Monthly premiums for single employees would be covered by the district under the higher-deductible plan. Those with family coverage would pay $3,864 annually. 

Costs for employees with a spouse or children would range from $5,500 and $5,700 under the lower-deductible plan and $2,300 to $2,400 for those with the higher deductible.  

PHOTOS: Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants and Chicago Teachers Union march in Decatur

Contact Analisa Trofimuk at (217) 421-7985. Follow her on Twitter: @AnalisaTro


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