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Tuscarora school board approves teachers' contract

Teachers to vote Wednesday

January 09, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. — The Tuscarora School Board approved a two-year contract extension with the Tuscarora Education Association during Monday’s meeting.

Rather than go into full-scale contract negotiations, the board opted to extend the teachers union’s 2008-12 collective-bargaining agreement.

The teachers contract passed by an 8-1 vote, with board member Daniel Reeder casting the dissenting vote.

According to the agreement, all provisions of the current contract remain the same except:

  • Medical insurance: There will be no change in 2012-13. But, in 2013-14, teachers will pay 9.75 percent of the premium for the coverage selected. The deductible for an emergency room visit will increase to $100.
  • Wage scale: In 2012-13, teachers will see no increase; no step movement; and column movement as per Section 13.5 of the agreement. In 2013-14, teachers will see step increases plus 1.47 percent over the previous year’s total payroll for the bargaining unit.

“We were pretty much happy with the contract, and the teachers were fairly happy,” board President Clifford Smith Jr. said. “So why go into full-blown negotiations when salary and a few things like that can be discussed and a deal made early?”

Smith said the contract extension was an excellent deal for everyone involved.

“I think it’s just in the best interest of everybody if we can just get a deal and move forward,” he said.

Reeder disagreed.

“We’re in an economy right now that I think we have to look very carefully at any pay raise. I see definite benefits to this. But, my gut feeling is we might have done better in full-scale negotiations,” Reeder said.

“That would have given the association a chance to look at other items in their contract, and given us a chance to open up other items in the contract. Now, we’re stuck with status quo basically for two years.”

The district’s approximately 160 teachers are scheduled to vote Wednesday on the contract proposal.

Association President Sheryl Allison said a two-thirds vote of the membership is required to ratify the deal.

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