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School district board explains insurance situation

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The Warren County School District (WCSD) Board of Directors and area teachers’ union, the Warren County Education Association (WCEA) that empowered more than 370 members to strike and picket for eight school days in October, reached an agreement Oct. 17 that reinstated a normal work schedule for teachers and their benefits including insurance the board was highly criticized for removing during the strike.

Open Records Officer Ruth Huck from Warren’s Central Administrative Offices revealed there was no specific plan between the union and board outlining what would happen with teachers’ insurance if a strike were to occur. When it did, the board contended the dissemination of strike information would be up to the WCEA.

As it stood, there were no specific obligations of the board to maintain teachers’ insurance during the unionized strike.

Furthermore, the board explained that documents outlining what would happen if a teachers’ strike were to occur did not exist as district documents.

Many supporters of Warren teachers were disgruntled with how the insurance situation was handled with the employees on strike, especially because many believed teachers had a right to their insurance they had paid for before the strike began at least throughout the rest of the month of October.

The agreement with the WCEA outlines insurance benefits of teachers when a strike is not in session. Life insurance is provided by the board in an amount of $50,000.

The PPO Blue Medical Plan for all WCSD employees provides 100 percent of all preventive care, hospital/physician, emergency, therapy, behavioral health and other services before or after deductible.

Out-of-network care instead only provides 70 percent after deductible for employees regarding all health benefits.