BOE surprises: $800K insurance surplus, and teachers’ contract is finalized

Norwalk Board of Education member Mike Barbis holds up a copy of the finally completed Norwalk Federation of Teachers contract Tuesday in City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. – Good news – there’s a sizable surplus in the Norwalk Board of Education insurance account and the contract with the Norwalk Federation of Teachers has been finalized.

The “final, final, final, final, final, final, final” NFT contract – the one the teachers are currently working under – was announced by Negotiations and Personnel Committee Chairman Mike Barbis.

“Even though the arbitrator ruled in 2012 and the contract is in effect in July 1 2013, the contract was never finalized and it was never signed by the union. So it is now done, it is official. I am sorry Mr. (NFT President Bruce) Mellion is not here tonight because I would ask him to sign it. But we are hoping he signs it in short order and then it can be posted on our website and be fully available for everyone and anyone to review,” Barbis said.

The board’s budget is pretty much on track, although there are concerns about legal spending and special education transportation costs, Chief Financial Officer Rich Rudl said.

He said he expects to request budget transfers to cover custodian department overtime and a headmaster at Brien McMahon High School. But overall, the picture is good, he said.

Barbis asked him about the insurance fund account, which was blamed as the source of a $4 million deficit two years ago.

There is currently an $800,000 surplus against expected claims, Rudl said.

That is slightly more than there was last year at this time, he said.

Last June, the board was told it had an unexpected $1.2 million from a 2012-2013 insurance cost surplus. That was applied to the current year budget, in which library aides were re-instated.

“January starts the beginning of the HSA (Health Savings Account) year for most of our employees,” Rudl said. “Typically we see lower claim experience when the HSA starts for employees as the deductible hits … So we do expect to see favorable results.”


4 responses to “BOE surprises: $800K insurance surplus, and teachers’ contract is finalized”

  1. Piberman

    Is there a story here why it took so long for the NFT to sign the contract suggested by the Arbitration Board ? Too humiliating ? Minor details ? Just business as usual ? BOE dragging its feet ? Missed photo op for NFT Chief Mr Mellion ? Nancy to the rescue.

  2. Lisa Thomson

    Good question. Nancy, why don’t you ask when the contract will be posted for all to see? That includes staff, parents and the public. Shouldn’t everyone see a contract that was arbitrated in 2012, before negotiations for the reopener begin this summer? Why hasn’t Mr. Mellion signed an adjudicated contract?

  3. Piberman

    Wouldn’t it be.wonderful if all City contracts were available on Norwalk’s web site ! Together with arbitration briefs and final Reports !

  4. Just me

    The contracts are on the respective websites. The city has theirs, norwalkct.org and the BOE at norwalkpublicschools.org under the hr link.

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