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Palmerton settles teacher pact; contract has 3.15 percent hike in each year for 4 years

  • Palmerton settles teacher pact
Published March 07. 2018 06:31AM

Twenty months after the last contract expired, Palmerton Area School District and its teachers’ union struck a new deal Tuesday night.

After Palmerton’s teachers approved the contract earlier in the day, the board passed a 8-0 motion during a special meeting.

Director Charles Gildner was absent and did not vote.

The contract is retroactive to July 1, 2016, and runs through June 30, 2020.

According to a summary provided by the district, the contract is set to increase 3.15 percent for each of the four years and includes a 17-step matrix.

“On behalf of the teachers, I’d like to thank the board and especially Tammy Recker, Josh Smale, Barry Scherer and Earl Paules,” said Palmerton Area Education Association President Tom Smelas.

“The meetings we had with them were respectful, courteous and professional and that is why we were able to come to this agreement.”

Health care deductibles are set at $200/$400 with premium shares at $36 for a single payer and $64 for a family per biweekly pay in the final year of the deal.

Deductibles remain the same as the last contract. The premiums were $30.50 for a single payer and $52 for a family in 16-17 and 17-18.

The two sides had been negotiating since the last offer the district made public in October, which called for a 3 percent increase each year, a 17-step matrix and the same health care deductibles.

“We spent a lot of hours negotiating and hashed a lot out,” Scherer, board president, said after the vote.

“There was a lot of give and take and our team is appreciative of all the efforts of everyone involved.”

Palmerton teachers went on strike for two years in January 2017 and the two sides went to nonbinding arbitration later that year.

Smelas said he is hopeful everyone can move forward with the matter now settled.

“It’s been a long couple of years,” he said. “I know both sides are relieved. I want to thank the board for pushing this process. These have been great talks recently.”

Principal moves

Palmerton hired two part-time acting high school principals Tuesday night as it shuffles administrative duties with high school principal Paula Husar on unpaid suspension pending an ongoing termination hearing in front of the board.

Gloria Bowman and John Gilly were both hired on a part-time basis at $450 per day. They will combine to serve in the role for the rest of the 2017-18 school year.

After Husar went out in September, the district moved junior high school principal Rich DeSocio to the high school in an acting principal role. He will receive a $10,000 stipend for that role, which he will have served from Sept. 8, 2017, through March 12, 2018.

Meanwhile, Kevin Carroll will receive a $3,000 stipend for having served as acting junior high school principal in charge of students for the same period.

You mean they’re only paying Gloria Bowman $450 for a 5hr workday? The teachers made out like bandits, nice lucrative contract.
The previous comments must be from idiots that live up there. Get with the times and pay taxes like the rest of us have to. Clearly you have no idea what those teachers do. They deal with your ignorant and disrespectful kids all day long. They wouldn’t have to be paying an outside principal $450 a day if they would bring back the principal that deserves her job back. If u don’t like your career move SOFTBALL8 go back to school and get a teaching degree, or better yet homeschool your kids because chances are if you are this disrespectful to the teachers of that community you are probably raising your kids to be the same way.
The reason the students ARE ignorant IS because of those STUPID teachers that ARE over paid . The schools HAVE created a whole generations of nincompoops that thinks everyone owes them and everyone is a winner . As for those teachers THEY chose that career path .. and since nepotism runs rampant in this back woods area they have no worry of EVER loosing its job!!! Oh and I due get RAPED every tax season with those property taxes even though I do not have any kids in school!!!!!!
Jesssi, such BIG words for a little person...calling teachers stupid. Lets all hope you NEVER do have kids either. Ur truly a jackass if you are going to blame the teachers. It all starts at home and if u think any differently ur an idiot, the parents are the ones that do the crying g that there kids don’t make teams and all kids should get trophies for participation. Maybe you should move out of the backwoods of carbon county and see what the real 21st century lives. U must be one of those millennials that think everything is wrong with the world except for you. Please just go crawl back under your rock, because it’s obvious you couldn’t make it in any of the areas around the lehigh valley if your complaining about ur Palmerton taxes being too high. Yikes!!!
Obviously you never went to school or a board meeting and listen to the whining teachers, you are right with one thing that it is not ALL there fault . Oh I would crawl under that rock but you are already taking that spot! Ah a local so many words to say to you simpleton so little space ! First we can keep it simple so morons like you can understand ... I could care less about you , kids , teachers people in general , palmerton , carbon county , pa and so on ... And unlike you I have been out of this back woods , simple minded area and I cannot wait to move again. This place has a bunch of knuckle dragging idiots and since you replied you have now removed any doubt . If I pay one cent in taxes I pay to much and unlike you I already have my plan to get out of here AND I CANNOT WAIT.
The reason students are ignorant is because their Parents are ignorant! Like your post, they teach kids to disrespect Teachers. RAPED!? Really? You probably don't even pay close to what most of us do. Want to get your monies worth? GO BACK TO SCHOOL IGNORAMOUS!
Yup you are right they are too.. and here we go again another individual the thinks the teachers s@@@ doesn't stink . Are their good teachers, parents sure but again respect has to earned it is not given. This is what the average person sees a 180 to 190 work year, summers off, a give or take 7:30 to 3:00 schedule and since you are paid though my tax money I have EVERY right to criticize . As for the last line when you result to calling names you really show you true ignorance.
Sorry if everything in this statement is not grammatically correct that comes from my lasd education, but I won't blame the teachers.......
Not a local at all don’t live anywhere in or around Carbon County. Haters gonna hate !!!!! Sorry ur life sucks so bad that’s ashame... guess if u were originally out u should’ve stayed out.
When your taxes go through the roof due to the massive pension funds that these teachers continually get, maybe then you’ll understand. Get with the time and pay taxes? really? Doesn’t anybody think that when a teacher retires they receive 87% of their salary as being lucrative or excessive? The taxes keep going up. And stupid people keep building schools.
I never understand how it is all the teachers fault, we are always building schools, installing multi million dollar tracks and fields, and our Administrators salaries!!! Many superintendents in the area make almost 1/4 million per year. And many others also make double what teachers make. This article even states 450 a day for PART TIME principles. This equates to over $80,000.00 per year at 180 days, for a PART TIME JOB!!!!!
Nice, consider the average pay for Palmerton, and these teachers stand to gain (average) over $7K annually by the end of this contract. Teaching is a good gig if you can deal with the children.
Instead of fighting among yourselves over scraps, why don't ya get angry at those that pay you crap wages. Or is being unionized such a dirty word you'd rather remain poor and angry all the time.
Duh uh, being from Carbon County my math might be wrong but a 12.6% raise over four years is more than those of us on social security fixed incomes have ever seen.
Speaking of fixed incomes; many of us on said income face the choice of pay our taxes or buying food, fuel oil or medication lmagine, paying off a home over a 30 year period, then losing it because one can't pay the constantly increasing property tax bills.
Why don't we just sign our homes and property over to them so they can continue to over spend on the schools. We never had such good schools, you would think the students would never want to go home.

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