Palmyra Area School District Collective Bargaining Agreement

In April, many teachers attended a public board meeting in the high school auditorium, fearing that the proposed budget cuts would undermine negotiations. Negotiations were conducted in May at a fact-seeker with the National Laboratory Relations Council, and when both parties agreed to the report that led to the termination of the contract. According to a press release on the new contract, “the school district and the association spent a lot of time together studying health trends and the effects of the Affordable Care Act. The health offerings of the new treaty are intended to control spending and promote well-being. District and association leaders agreed to work together to explore opportunities to maximize health care in the current context of national health insecurity and the effects of the Affordable Care Act. The borough reimburses the semi-annual licensing fee for school nurses and sports coaches. “Rising costs for health care, CyberCharter schools and PSERS are the underlying causes of our discussions and frustrations. The investigation process resulted in a four-year contract that will help us maintain our guiding principles and enable us to meet continued budgetary pressure while reaching a fair agreement between the two parties. The committee thanks the association`s negotiating team for understanding and cooperation. The teacher`s contract provides for increases of 2.5 per cent for the 2014-15 school year retroactive to September 1; 2% in 2015-16 and 2016-17; 2.75 per cent in 2018-19. The current contract does not expire until August 31, 2018, but the district and the association have successfully conducted early booking talks to reach the agreement. The Board of Directors approved the contract on October 26.

Members of the training association approved the contract on November 2. Starting in the 2015/16 school year, teachers also pay more deductibles and supplements for their health insurance. They will also pay more of their premiums, starting at 10 per cent in 2014-15, 11 per cent in 2015-16 and 11.5 per cent in 2017-18. Employees who wish to cover their spouse pay 2014-15,300 USD, 2015/16,400 USD, 2016/17,450 USD and 2017/18,500 USD. Brian Lynch, the head negotiator for the teachers` union, said in prepared remarks: “We have started negotiations that are not sure how things will go, but with a clear sentence of objectives in mind. While we have not achieved all of our objectives, we are confident that we have negotiated a reasonable and fair contract that responsibly meets many of the objectives of the educational association and the school district. Despite the time it took to reach an agreement, negotiators said relations remained cordial.

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