G-A teachers agree to pay freeze to aid in budget woes

June 02, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER |

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — In the midst of a budget crunch, Greencastle-Antrim teachers agreed to a pay freeze for the 2011-12 school year, saving the district at least $2 million over three years, union and school district officials said Thursday.

"This was the right thing to do," Greencastle-Antrim Education Association President Alison McKissick said. "We care about this school district and the kids that we teach, so we are prepared to make sacrifices so that our students don't have to."

According to McKissick, teachers agreed to a pay freeze for 2011-12 and to increases in their health insurance premiums in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years.

By a vote of 6-2 at Thursday's school board meeting, board members approved the memorandum of understanding between the board of directors and the teachers union. Eric Holtzman and Brian Hissong voted no while Howard Ritchey was not present for the vote.

Board President Joel Fridgen said the teachers have one year left on their existing contract with a 5 percent increase, which would have taken salaries up to $12,464,663 under the existing contract.

"Under the new payout, the new agreement would be $11,775.247," Fridgen said.

Business manager Dick Lipella said the teachers' concessions closed up the deficit from $1.25 million to approximately $400,000.

The union represents 177 teachers, according to a news release from the union.

"I think we all appreciate the effort they put in to help us out," Superintendent C. Gregory Hoover said.

Hoover said because of the concession from the teachers union that the board would not furlough the following positions as was previously planned:

  • high school social studies teacher
  • K-4 computer instructor
  • computer/instructional support aide — paraprofessional
  • five Kindergarten aides
  • middle school instructional aides (technology aide)
  • primary and elementary noontime aides
  • elementary instructional support aide-paraprofessional
  • elementary reading aide-paraprofessional
  • The final budget must be adopted by the end of June.

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