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School board nixes teacher deal

June 14, 2011

MERCERSBURG, Pa. — The Tuscarora School Board on Monday voted down a proposed agreement with its teachers union regarding a contract extension.

If approved, the teachers would have received salary increases for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years. District officials said the agreement would've increased the amount allocated to salaries by 5.6 percent over the two years.

On an 8-1 vote, the board rejected the memorandum of understanding. Only board member Donald Piper voted in favor of it.

Some board members said they were concerned the agreement reached 5.6 percent when they thought they settled on 5 percent with the Tuscarora Education Association.

"At some point, someone has to stand up and say, 'We agreed to 5. It's supposed to be 5, not 5.6,'" Board President Clifford Smith said.

"I don't like raises outside the rate of inflation," board member Larry Funk said.

The taxpayers might benefit by entering into negotiations in 2012, board member Daniel Reeder said.

"It's a (traditional negotiating) process we've gone through over and over again. This (extension) is untested waters," he said.

In other business, the board fired a high school Spanish teacher and furloughed two computer lab assistants.

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— Jennifer Fitch

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