John K. Manna
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
Shenango’s teachers will receive pay increases averaging 1.24 percent over the life of a new contract.
The Shenango Area Education Association, which represents the teachers, accepted the four-year agreement April 4 and the school board followed suit April 9, approving it unanimously.
The contract, which covers 93 full-time teachers, runs from Sept. 1, 2012, through Aug. 31, 2016.
The current five-year contract expires Aug. 31.
“I think the contract is fair for both sides,” acting superintendent Dr. Michael Schreck said.
“Both parties understand the financial climate we’re both in. This contract proves the cooperation between the board and the teachers is outstanding.”
Teachers have accepted a wage freeze in the first year. They will receive increases of 1.09 percent in the second year, 1.81 percent in the third year and 2.04 percent in the fourth year.
The contract also includes changes in healthcare deductibles and a retirement incentive.
The current deductible for in-network is $100 for individual coverage and $200 for family. The deductible will remain in effect for the first year of the contract, then increase to $250 for an individual and $500 for family in the second year.
For out of network, the deductible will increase from $250 to $500 for an individual and from $500 to $1,000 for family, also in the second year.
Emergency co-pays will increase from $50 to $75.
Under the retirement incentive, the first 10 teachers who retire in the current school year or the 2012-13 school year will have $9,000 deposited into a health reimbursement account. The money could be used for premiums, co-pays or other health-related expenses.
Teachers must have at least 30 years of service to be eligible.
Scott Sauders, co-president of the Shenango Area Education Association, said, “Heading into the school year, we knew that Gov. Corbett’s massive budget cuts — including over $600,000 in cuts to Shenango — would have an impact on these negotiations. We are pleased that both parties were able to cooperatively confront the challenges we faced to find an acceptable solution.”
Board president Albert Burick said, “Our teaching staff does a tremendous job with our students, and they displayed the same kind of professionalism in these negotiations as they do in the classroom.”