After months of negotiations, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and Manchester Education Association President Ben Dick thought they had a new contract for city teachers that everyone could accept. Boy were they wrong.
The deal would have raised the teachers’ share of their health insurance premiums to 15-20 percent, still below the average for the private sector but a good jump from the current 7 percent contribution. That was the big concession the city wanted and other unions have given.
The deal also gave teachers annual $900 pay increases, rather than a percentage increase.
The deal would have saved the city $2.5 million in the first year, but cost the city an additional $4.5 million over four years. The union leadership liked the deal and recommended it. Teachers voted it down 391-196.
This was not a contract that unfairly favored the city. At this point one has to wonder just how lopsided in their favor a contract would have to be for the teachers to agree to it.