The teachers’ union and the school board in Portland, Ore., have agreed to a two-year contract that will raise salaries just under 6 percent, but require teachers to make payments toward their health-insurance premiums. (“Few Teachers’ Strikes Mark U.S. Landscape,” Oct. 6, 2004.)
Teachers are to get a pay increase of 3 percent this school year and 2.75 percent next year. For the first time, they will pay a portion of the 53,000-student district’s health-insurance tab—about $55 a month toward the current monthly premium of $930. They also agreed to a redesign of their health plan, with small specified cost reductions in each of the two years.
Members of the Portland Association of Teachers, an affiliate of the NEA, overwhelmingly approved the agreement on Oct. 12. The settlement comes before a Nov. 2 vote on whether to repeal an income tax hike that helped fix budget shortfalls two years ago.