School Board Approves Health Insurance Change, Ending Contract Uncertainty

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After a forced delay, a board rejection and a week of uncertainty, Tuesday night, the Rockford School Board finally agrees to an insurance change with its teachers union.

The vote was unanimous to accept the contract’s health plan revision. The change reduces the Blue Cross/Blue Shield premiums to equal that of the contract's other insurance provider, United Health Care. The change was brought on by Blue Cross/Blue Shield after both the union and the district agreed to a two-year contract in August. Even with the changes, the entire contract is believed to save about $6 to $8 million for the district.

"If the vote on Aug. 23 was justified, and I believe it was, than the vote tonight is justified because we will still save money," board member Bob Evans said.

"I know we didn't have a lot of options, but I’m encouraged that we will pursue the options that we have, therefore I do plan on supporting the plan," board member Mike Williams said.

A spokesperson for Rockford’s Education Association says the union is very pleased the school board made their decision and bargained in good faith. The spokesperson added the insurance plan is good for both employees and the district.