POTTSTOWN PA – Pottsgrove School District teachers and their employer, the Board of School Directors, have reached agreement on a three-year labor contract, the district said in a Friday morning (June 9, 2012) e-mail at 10:35 a.m. The settlement, announced on the same day the Pottsgrove Class of 2012 will graduate, likely means district schools will re-open as scheduled on Aug. 27 (2012; Monday) for the 2012-2013 academic year.
The tentative contract includes pay raises for employees in each of the three years; three different health care insurance options, each of which require employee contributions for premium payments; and changes in work rules and other contract language. On health insurance costs, the modifications could save the district a half-million dollars or more over the life of the contract, officials said.
The agreement between the board and the teachers’ union, the Pottsgrove Education Association, is based on modifications made to the report of a neutral fact-finder who heard both sides’ concerns during a May 10 hearing, and issued a series of non-binding recommendations May 21. The initial report was approved by directors but rejected by union members. Subsequent changes led to the consensus.
The existing contract expires Aug. 31. Board members’ approval of the new contract is scheduled for their June 12 (Tuesday) meeting.
“The board has worked very hard to come to a reasonable agreement that helps to keep our costs in control while also compensating our teachers for the critical job they do,” board President Michael Neiffer said. “Schools rely on teachers, and employment costs make up the greatest percentage of our budget. This agreement goes a long way towards helping us control our costs over the next three years.”
Pottsgrove teachers agreed last year to a pay freeze and one-year contract extension, along with the district’s offer of no furloughs or demotions during the past school year. That agreement saved Pottsgrove $515,000 in its 2011-2012 budget.
The new contract includes what Neiffer described as “very modest pay increases,” averaging 1.74 percent in its first year, 1.46 percent in Year Two, and 1.89 percent in the final year.
Union members will be offered a choice of three different health plans. However, the contract requires employees pay up to a 15-percent share of the premium in Year One, 16 percent in Year Two, and 17 percent in the last year.
In addition, what Neiffer claimed were “other minor language issues” were addressed in the agreement, including a slight increase in hourly rates the district pays for things as curriculum writing, tutoring, and teaching summer school.
Pottsgrove High School’s 2012 graduating class participates in commencement exercises that begin Friday at 6 p.m. in the stadium on Kauffman Road. Its members won’t be affected by the new work agreement, but students in following classes now might be assured teachers will be available to see them through the next three years to subsequent graduations.
- Pottsgrove Teachers, School Board OK 3-Year Contract
- Pottsgrove Teachers Reject Contract Fact-Finder’s Report
- Pottsgrove Board OKs Fact-Finder Report On Labor Pact
- Pottsgrove Schools To Reopen On Aug. 27, Unless …
- Pottsgrove, Teachers Union Call For Contract Fact-Finder
- Pottsgrove District, Teachers Resume Labor Negotiations
- Teachers Challenge Pottsgrove Board: ‘Return To Talks’
- The Questions Facing Pottsgrove’s Coming Labor Talks