A tentative contract agreement between the Wichita school district and the local teachers union was shared with teachers and the public Monday afternoon.
Details of the tentative agreement, which was announced May 29, had not been released by either side because of leadership changes and other factors at United Teachers of Wichita, which represents the district’s 4,000 teachers.
Union president Randy Mousley could not be reached for comment Monday.
According to the document released by district spokeswoman Susan Arensman, the proposed contract includes:
▪ Higher health premiums for employees or their spouses who use tobacco products. The monthly premium for tobacco users would increase from $50 to $100.
▪ Higher health premiums for teachers whose spouses have access to employer-sponsored health insurance but choose to use the district’s health plan. Premiums for those spouses would double, from $100 to $200 a month.
▪ A new clause stating that “a teacher’s absence from any staff meeting should be the exception rather than the rule.” If a teacher misses a staff meeting, he or she is required to contact the principal to get information from the meeting, the proposal says.
▪ The formation of a work group to study changes to the teacher evaluation process. The six-member group will be made up of three people appointed by superintendent John Allison and three appointed by the UTW leadership.
The tentative contract includes a one-year salary freeze and reduces the school year from 190 to 188 days with no loss of pay. It is not clear which days would be dropped. If the contract is ratified, the Wichita school board would republish its school calendar to remove those days.
The agreement also includes a “reopener” clause for salary negotiations if the Wichita school district receives at least $8 million of new funding for the 2015-16 school year.
Heather Bruce, UTW vice president, said the union’s executive board met Monday to vote whether to endorse, reject or take no position on the tentative agreement. She would not say how the board voted but said the union would send an e-mail to members and teachers on Tuesday.