The state Labor Relations Board has released a fact-finder's report on the Panther Valley School District teachers' contract negotiations.
The report, created by fact-finder Ralph Colflesh, was accepted last Thursday by the school board, but was rejected by the Panther Valley Education Association. Teachers have been working under the terms of the previous contract, which ended in June 2011.
As of Aug. 10, both sides have between five and 10 days to vote again on the report.
Colflesh's report recommends a four-year contract, from 2011-2012 to 2014-2015, as requested by PVEA. The district wanted a three-year pact.
As for salaries, the report recommends that "salaries for 2011-2012 remain unchanged (no step no column increases); salaries for 2012-2013 increase only as a function of step and column movement and with an off-schedule payment for bargaining unit members at the maximum step of 2 percent of that step; and each cell of the salary schedule be increased by 2 percent for each of School Years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, with step and column movement but with no off-schedule payment for bargaining unit members at the maximum step."
As for health benefits, Colflesh recommends that yearly deductibles shall be $200 per year for single coverage; $350 for husband and wife coverage, and $500 for full family coverage and such deductibles will apply to any covered medical service; co-payments for doctor visits shall be $20, $20, and $50 for primary, specialists and urgent care, and emergency care respectively; the $3,000 opt out payment for employee-spouses of bargaining unit members when said employee-spouses decline their own coverage shall be eliminated and no employee spouse will receive his/her separate medical coverage; the health care plan conforms to the requirements of the Affordable Health Care Act as those requirements become effective.
For retiree health care benefits, Colflesh recommends that, effective with the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, all deductibles and co-payments effective for active retirees under the health care plan be imposed on retirees, regardless of when they retired or may retire.
On the matter of cyber-school instruction, Colflesh recommends the district shall have the right to promote, offer and implement online instruction with instruction provided by either PVEA members or instructors from other sources, at its discretion, for: home-schooled students; students attending public, parochial or independent schools; students attending cyber schools; students attending charter schools; students whose medical conditions preclude their regular school attendance; students who have travel, athletic or performance opportunities that preclude their attendance; students who will be expelled or are expelled or suspended by the district; and/or, students currently attending school who desire a blended approach (online and attendance at school) to learning.
Those students in that last category must physically attend school for at least six hours of instruction daily to be eligible for online instruction.During the term of this agreement, the district will not expand its online program opportunities beyond the limitations set forth above without first negotiating with PVEA, Colflesh recommends.
The full fact-finder's report, which includes proposals from both sides, can be accessed at www.dli.state.pa.us/plrb. Scroll down to "Fact Finding Reports" on the left.