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Gouverneur teachers reach accord with school board

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GOUVERNEUR — The Gouverneur Central School board and the Gouverneur Teachers Association have reached a three-year contract settlement.

The school board ratified the agreement, which begins today, at a special meeting Friday.

The details include salary increases of 3.5 percent, 3.25 percent and 3 percent in successive years of the pact.

The contract also includes a change in health insurance coverage from Rider 5/6 to Rider 9.

Rider 5/6 included an escalator for prescriptions, meaning that users pay more for more expensive medications, but it did not include an escalator for major medical. Rider 9 adds an escalator for major medical expenses.

Employees and the district save money through the riders, Superintendent Lauren F. French said. “It encourages consumerism,” she said.

Instead of going to the emergency room for anything other than an emergency, teachers can opt to go to a doctor’s office or clinic, and both the district and the individual pay less, Mrs. French said.

Administrators in the district agreed last year to switch to Rider 9 to set an example, she said.

“I didn’t see a change in the amount I had to contribute because of the way I used it,” Mrs. French said.

Members of the Teachers Association will make contributions toward the cost of their premiums at 7 percent — the same amount as in the previous contract — 7.5 percent and 8 percent in each successive year of the contract.

The district will schedule a training session on the changes during the first staff development day of the school year, Mrs. French said.

Additional contract changes were in sick bank language, payroll options, health insurance buyout and retirement language.

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