Statement by Chambersburg Area School Board

January 10, 2011

Editor’s note: This is copy of a statement issued Monday night by the Chambersburg Area School Board:

CASD School Board Extends Fair Offer to Teachers

January 11, 2011

Talks between the Chambersburg Area School District Board of Directors and the Chambersburg Area Education Association began in December 2009. A four year contract with the Education Association expired on June 30, 2010.

After more than a year of negotiations, efforts to resolve the contract have not been successful. While agreement has been reached on the majority of issues, the most recent negotiation session on Monday, January 10, 2010 ended with three major unresolved issues which are wages, healthcare and fair share. The School Board’s last offer extended on January 10, 2010 addressed each major issue.

1. Wages:

The School Board offered a lump sum payment to every teacher of $1100 which is 2% of the average teacher salary of $54,314 and a 3% wage increase for 2011-2012 which would be an additional $1,629 for the average teacher salary. This offer will cost the District $697,222 in 2010-2011 and $1,028,864 in 2011-2012.

In the 2006 contract, teachers received 4.5% increases for four years in a row. Considering the recent economic downturn and forecasts of decreased state funding, dramatic increases in retirement costs and healthcare, and stagnant local revenue, the School Board believes this is a fair and affordable offer.

2. Healthcare:

Currently, teachers pay 7% of the cost of their healthcare. For a teacher who elects family coverage, this equates to $82 per month. The School Board’s last offer included an 8% employee contribution to healthcare in 2010-2011 starting with the signing of this contract and 10% in 2011-2012. For a teacher who elects family coverage, this would be an increase of $12 per month for the remainder of 2010-2011 and approximately $30 per month in 2011-2012.

3. Fair Share:

The School Board has never wavered from its position on this issue. The Board believes requiring employees to pay for any organizational memberships as a condition of employment is unacceptable and beyond its primary responsibility to govern the District.

A significant consideration for the School Board must be that on December 17, 2010 the Association publicly announced its authorization to strike as approved by a membership vote. A strike would have a dramatic and negative impact on the quality of education for all CASD students as well as a significantly negative financial impact on the District.

The School Board greatly values the work of our professional staff in preparing our students for success. With this belief the School Board continues to extend an offer to negotiate with CAEA in good faith with the goal of reaching a settled contract.

As elected representatives of the community, the School Directors believe this offer made during these uncertain economic times and under these current circumstances is fair.

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