The Groveport Madison Board of Education has approved a new three-year contract with Ohio Association of Public Employees Local 312 that calls for higher pay and lower health insurance rates.

Treasurer John Walsh said the agreement approved Sept. 13 covers about 200 district cafeteria workers, custodians, maintenance workers, aides, inter-school delivery people, and most clerical staff members.

The contract calls for pay increases of 2.75 percent in each of the next three years.

In addition, these employees will pay 5 percent less for their health insurance premiums, Walsh said.

Currently, the OAPSE members pay 15 percent of their own health care coverage. Under terms of the new agreement, they will contribute 10 percent toward their premiums.

"The annual cost increase for the board will be approximately $130,000," Walsh said. "The employee will pay $230.27 per month for family and $93.41 per month for single coverage."

He said that means the board will pay $2,072.49 per month for a family plan and $840.69 per month for single coverage.

The agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2018 and lasts through June 30, 2021. Walsh estimated it will cost the district about $218,000 in the 2018-2019 school year.

He called the negotiations a "positive group effort."

"Both parties had a goal to bring fair and equitable terms to the table," he said.

"In talking with others who have participated in negotiations with Local 312, they shared that this was the most professional and relaxed negotiations between the board and Local 312. Each side was proud of the outcome and the vote by Local 312 was one shy of a unanimous vote."

Contract negotiations with teachers are expected to begin late next spring.