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School board approves fact-finders report

Published August 10. 2012 05:01PM

Panther Valley School Board on Thursday approved a fact-finder's report aimed at settling a new teachers' contract. Teachers have been working under the terms of the previous pact since last August.

No details were released Thursday. Board President Jeff Markovich explained the process.

"In accordance with Act 88, the district will now notify the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board with the result of our vote. The Labor Relations Board will provide a press release on that report, and the status of the district and the (Panther Valley Education Association's) acceptance or denial, of that report. The negotiating team will make a public comment after legal counsel directs us to do so," he said.

"This report is still not public information," Markovich said.

The school board, with member Richard Zabroski absent, voted 7-1 in favor of the fact-finder's report. David Hiles, Michelle Markovich, Koreen Nalesnik, Bill Hunsicker, Irene Genther, Anthony DeMarco and Jeff Markovich voted in favor. Roy Angst opposed, saying he had not seen the report.

"It was illegally withheld from me," he said.

Superintendent Rosemary Porembo said the previous three-year contract, adopted in November 2008, provided salary increases of about 3 percent per year, but that salaries have been frozen at the 2010-2011 rate.

According to the contract, salaries ranged from $32,215 to $61,750 in 2008-2009, depending upon years of experience and educational levels. They rose to $33,915 to $63,125 for 2009-2010; and were at $34,685 to $64,600 in 2010-2011.

In other matters Thursday, the school board hired Susan Holland as a special-education teacher at the high school for $34,685 for the 2012-2013 school year.

The board also accepted a settlement with St. Luke's Hospital Network on a property at 108-110 W. Catawissa St., Nesquehoning. Solicitor Robert T. Yurchak said the building is a health office, with an apartment on the upper floor.

St. Luke's had tried to get the entire property exempted from all property taxes. However, it settled on paying taxes on one-third of the building's taxable worth, Yurchak said. He said the tax status could be revisited in two years.

The board also approved an agreement with the Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21 for the Discovery Streaming Digital Library for one year, retroactive to July 1.

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