Teacher lawsuit settled

Rather than rack up more legal costs, the Spring Lake Board of Education approved an agreement this week to settle a health care premium dispute with the teachers union.
Marie Havenga
May 24, 2012


According to terms of the pact with the Spring Lake Education Association, within 30 days teacher union members will receive reimbursement for two months of health insurance premiums that were deducted from their pay in July and August of 2011.

The district will pay about $56,000 in settlement costs, according to Superintendent Dennis Furton.

Furton said the district began deducting $250 per month for family health plans in July under new state guidelines. Prior to July 1, the district paid for the health insurance policies.

“Starting in July, the law stated that if we didn't have a successor collective bargaining agreement, the school districts were to deduct health care premiums,” Furton said. “About six weeks after that, we reached an (contract) agreement with the (teachers union), and at that point we stopped deducting that amount.”

Union leaders filed a grievance on Aug. 12, objecting to the two months of deductions, because they contend contract language provided that benefit without cost through the end of September.

Furton said the dispute boiled down to which ruled — the contract language or the new state law.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



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