Teachers Call Revoking Payment Wrong

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

Hundreds of teachers came to the Lansing School board's regular meeting to protest a decision the board made last week in a special session to eliminate a $160 monthly stipend.

That money is an incentive for teachers who agreed to a health insurance plan that has co-pays, instead of taking one that is fully paid.

The board eliminated it, saying contract negotiations are at an impasse.

Educator after educator after educator spoke the same passionate message before the school board Thursday night.

The teacher's union and the school district are not at an impasse--they say--and the school board could and should reverse the action they took to eliminate the monthly stipend last week.

The district's spokesperson Kelly Rossman-McKinney calls that mostly encouraging after the tensions that brought this to a head. She notes the board feels strongly that a $160 monthly payment as insurance incentive is excessive.

The teachers have maintained the school board's vote was, if not technically illegal, certainly unfair because it was done at a special meeting. They are in the midst of filing legal action, but their message tonight was simply reverse the damage done to negotiations, and get back to work.

The teachers have been working without a contract since July. That's why the school board says they can eliminate the stipend.

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