Phone calls have been received at the KEA office from members who have questions about why they have seen a decrease in their paychecks with the beginning of the new school year. The reasons are two-fold: salary/wage negotiations are still underway and the health insurance premium increased, so your contribution amount did also. Still, there is always the possibility of error.
Some callers were unaware that salary/wage increases still have to be negotiated. Given that Act 10 has limited them to a maximum of the CPI from last year and because inflation has remained so low (this year’s figure is 1.62%), they assumed that this pay raise would be automatic – which it practically has been in many districts around the state, having approved this increase without controversy.
This offer, proposed by the KEA’s Negotiations Team, was not one upon which agreement could be reached at our initial negotiations session last month (our next session will occur on Wednesday, October 14th). We hope to be able to share positive news with everyone at our General Membership Meeting at the Local UAW 72 Hall at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, October 26th.
Our health insurance coverage with WEA Trust increased only by its guaranteed maximum of 9%, which means that your premium copay of 6 or 12 percent went up proportionally (I cannot, unfortunately, tell you at this point in time how your dental insurance rates may have changed – whether up or down).
So, obviously, since your costs increased and your salary/wages still have not, your net take-home pay is going to be a bit less. This amount may actually seem to be more than a “bit” less, but keep in mind that your summer paychecks did not have any of the insurance deductions taken out – all your premium copays are taken during the school year, from September through the beginning of June.
If you still think you have seen an inexplicable difference, however, you would be well advised to go to the Employee Online link under the Staff Connect tab on the District’s website and access your pay stubs. Your gross pay from last year’s checks and this year’s should be identical and, if you go back to a May pay stub, you should be able to compare the amounts for your insurance copays.
If you still have any uncertainties and would like our assistance, please do not hesitate to call the KEA Office, 262.654.2127.