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Teachers contract approved by Chambersburg board

November 09, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Without debate, but not without dissent, the Chambersburg School Board on Wednesday night approved a new four-year contract with the Chambersburg Area Education Association that increases teacher salaries 4.5 percent in each of the first three years.

The union's membership includes 534 of the approximately 575 teachers in the district, who have been working under the terms of the old contract, which expired June 30. Association President Doug Shatzer said last month the membership voted by a 3-to-1 margin to approve the tentative agreement.

Board President Craig Musser, who with board member Paul Ambrose voted against the contract, read a statement outlining some of the terms of the contract before the vote.

Board members Norman Blowers, David Sciamanna, Renee Sharpe, Stanley Helman, Fred Rice, Thomas Orndorf and Lori Leedy voted for the contract.

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The contract, which runs from July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2010, includes an increase in teachers' salaries of 4 to 4.5 percent in the fourth year, which will be based on an inflationary index set by the state for purposes of limiting real estate tax increases under the Act 1 school property tax reform law.

The school year is changed from 188 days to 186 days under the contract, but teachers will be required to make up any snow days during the year, something not done in the past.

Elementary and secondary teachers will be required to work 7 1/2 hours a day beginning with the 2007-08 school year. According to the statement, that achieves the objective of adding more hours to the elementary school day.

In regard to health-care costs, teachers will be required to pay a 12 percent premium under the indemnity plan, but that will be eliminated in the third year of the contract, according to the statement. After that, a preferred provider option (PPO) would be the health-care plan for participating teachers, requiring a 7 percent premium payment and a deductible of $200 to $600 for single or family coverage.

Tuition reimbursement for teachers taking courses at Shippensburg (Pa.) University was increased to 100 percent, with a repayment provision for teachers who leave the district.

More information was not available Wednesday night.

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