New proposal offered for teacher contract talks in Waynesboro

August 18, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — After several bargaining sessions without any progress, the Waynesboro Area School Board and its teachers union met Thursday and talked about a new proposal.

The school board offered to provide a $600 salary increase in the second year of a new, three-year contract and an additional $600 in the third year, according to Richard Galtman, an attorney serving as the lead negotiator for the school board.

In exchange, the school board wants teachers to make increased contributions to health insurance premiums. The amount of those contributions is unresolved, partly because the district has entered a new insurance plan year, Galtman said.

"What we're saving on benefits we're spending on salaries," he said.

When the union, Waynesboro Area Education Association, asked for more information from the insurance carrier, Galtman said he took that as a good sign.

"I think it's positive," he said. "We're guardedly optimistic, I'd say."

"In order for us to respond, we asked for additional health insurance information. ... We can't evaluate (the offer) until we get some more information from them," said Mike Engle, negotiator for Waynesboro Area Education Association.

In the school board's proposal, teachers would not change their classifications on the salary schedule. Also, they would not receive a pay increase for the first year of the contract, which would have been 2010-11.

The two sides started negotiating in early 2010.

Galtman said he gives both the school board and union credit for what he views as a positive session Thursday. He commended the board for its new offer and the Waynesboro Area Education Association for its consideration of that offer.

The next bargaining session was scheduled for Sept. 22.

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