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Greater Nanticoke Area withdraws from health trust

Teachers in the school district are working without a contract since June 2005.

NANTICOKE – The Greater Nanticoke Area School Board decided to leave the Northeast Pennsylvania School Health Trust during its Thursday evening meeting, Superintendent Anthony Perrone said.

The board voted 7-1 to withdraw from the health trust effective June 30.

School Board President Jeff Kozlofski said that one of the reasons he voted against the decision was because the union was not contacted by school district representatives before the vote.

GNA teachers are operating under a contract that expired in June 2005. Union officials said previously that they do not want to leave the health trust.

During Thursday’s meeting, board members told school district financial manager Albert Melone to set up a health trust, which would fund GNA employees’ insurance. Elite Brokerage Services has been hired to administer the school district’s health plan.

Dallas School District has already withdrawn from the trust and Pittston Area School District is also expected to do so. Northwest Area officials did not discuss the issue during their meeting Thursday, but they have another meeting scheduled before the June 30 withdrawal deadline.

The Nanticoke board appointed the law firm of Rosenn, Jenkins and Greenwald to attempt to recover its share of the trust’s surplus, which is believed to total more than $15 million.

Trust executive director Andrew Marko has said the agreement signed by all school districts clearly states that money in the surplus stays with the trust.

The Northeast Pennsylvania School Health Trust is a consortium of local school districts formed in 1999 to lower health insurance costs.

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