A two-year agreement with the Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District's approximately 50 bus drivers will take effect Oct. 31 and include an overall salary freeze and no step increases during the first year of the contract.

A two-year agreement with the Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District’s approximately 50 bus drivers will take effect Oct. 31 and include an overall salary freeze and no step increases during the first year of the contract.

District treasurer Julio Valladares said the agreement, which is effective though Dec. 31, 2013, saves taxpayers more than $28,000 over the term of the contract.

Similar to the district’s teachers contract approved in the spring, the agreement with the Ohio Association of Public School Employees Local 249 implements the equivalent of two unpaid furlough days for a savings of $16,000 for both years, Valladares said. No step increase for one year is equivalent to $12,000, he said.

The agreement also calls for no changes to the districtwide health-care plan. Under the plan, employee co-pays are $25 for a doctor visit, $50 for urgent care and $100 for an ER visit. The prescription co-pays will remain at $10 for generics, $30 for preferred-brand prescriptions and $50 for nonpreferred brands.

No change was made to the overall employee contribution to the health-insurance plan, with families paying 20 percent and individuals paying 10 percent.

The Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education approved the agreement with the OAPSE earlier this month.

“I am very proud of the work to reach these agreements,” Superintendent Mark White said. “Collectively, we were able to be fiscally responsible while being sensitive to the needs of the bargaining-unit members.”