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Palmerton OKs teachers’ contract

Published November 20. 2019 12:11PM

In the earliest agreement in memory, Palmerton Area School District and its teachers’ union approved a three-year contract Tuesday night carrying through June 30, 2023.

The current contract between the district and the Palmerton Area Education Association doesn’t run out until June 30, 2020, but both sides were pleased to have business taken care of well in advance of that date.

“Tonight is a celebration for the district,” school board Vice President Tammy Recker said. “The contract is taken care of and everyone can move forward. We made history.”

According to information provided by the district, the contract is set to increase 9 percent over four years and includes a 17-step matrix. Health care deductibles and premium shares remained the same in this contract. 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.

Recker said the overwhelming amount of communication between the two sides speaks volumes.

“It’s not just about the people at the table, it’s about the community and most importantly, the students,” she said.

Michelle Muffley, PAEA president, said the union overwhelmingly voted to accept the contract Tuesday afternoon.

“On behalf of our team, we want to thank the school board for participating in a positive negotiation process,” Muffley said. “Through communication, discussion, we came together, worked together and negotiated this contract. We’d like to thank the entire school board for recognizing the hard work and dedication of the teachers in our district.”

The school board voted 7-0 to approve the contract. Kate Baumgardt and Charles Gildner were absent from the meeting.

During the last contract negotiation, Palmerton teachers went on strike for two weeks in January 2017 and the two sides went to nonbinding arbitration later that year. A contract was eventually approved 20 months after the expiration of the previous one.

This time around, director Earl Paules said, things were done a bit differently.

“I sat with the union on their side of the table and one of their representatives sat on the school board’s side,” Paules said. “We are not two separate teams. We’re one district, one team. There was back and forth, but at the end of the day, I think everyone is happy and the public should be happy as well.”

Comments
Ya I'm so happy I may have a party. Oh wait. I cant. My health benefits r way to expensive. would a teacher help me out??
9% wage increase over 4 years no matter your performance? Easy Peasy
I work for a business that makes profit, and my share for premium is near to $145 bi weekly.
My wage increase is based on merit, and I have to work full time, not just 185 days.
But I imagine the unanimous vote reflects the fear council has of the bullies... I mean a strike would shake up all the town folk who need the government school to baby sit junior.
What a racket.
You people must pay for this, or we take your house!
9% over 4 years is 2.25 annually, or a little more than half the yearly growth promised by trump. Quit whining, this isn’t even a cost of living adjustment.
Joe your a joke & an idiot. Typical socialist liberal. These people only work 9 months out of the year & can fit everything they need for work in a briefcase. Unlike me I have hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment, pay quarterly taxes, payroll lol liabilities, workers comp etc. Oh yea I almost forgot $634.09 a month for myself alone for health insurance plus a $4,000.00 deductible. And these teachers piss and moan about the high cost of there cozy health care & almost 10% pay raise. Most are way over paid & collect more per year after they retire then an average working person makes. What a joke!!!
The taxpayer kick back doesn't stem from envy Joe. That reply is old, cheap and irrelevant.
Government Schools are funded by home property tax (extortion).
The homeowner who is threatened to loose home if the extorted sum isn't met, get no where near the benefits of these part timers. Our Co-Pays, Shared Benefit Costs, and time off come nowhere near what these public servants get. Who serves who?
As for my career change to teaching? I couldn't deal with the mentality of most these "educators", and certainly wouldn't accept the union.
Question for those teachers...
Why do you continue to pay union dues? Fear?
Whatever. I think teachers are not paid enough frankly. The future of our nation depends on our education system and we have a vested interest in making sure we attract the best and brightest to the teaching field.

And you clearly are jealous or you wouldn't be making the comparison to your benefits. Guess what, if you don't have an advanced graduate degree and licensure, its on you that you don't get all the benefits you pine for. We live in a country that rewards those who go beyond the minimum and if you are sitting there with just a HS diploma, don't blame those who went 6-8 years farther in school at great personal expense for having more than you. Its America.
Unfunded or partially funded mandates such as over the top pensions and Cadillac Healthcare are stealing money from the classroom, from the student. The Educator Challenge.

Educators, we undestand your passion for the student, you profess and we see it everyday in many ways.

Sadly, "Union Leadership Greed" has directly impacted your ability to carry out your passion for the student and profession.

Union leadership has taken you down the wrong path, a path that is injurious to the student, threatens family financial stability, and the financial stability of the state at large. You can take action and help restore adequate funding for the students.

If, in your heart, you are honest about placing the children's needs first; then you need to band together and challenge union leadership to make meaningful change that will stop the drain of the money from the classrom, from the student. Roughly $0.19 on the dollar makes it into the classroom to be spent directly on students. What is diverting this money from the student while threatening the very financial stability of students homes and the state at large? Pensions, Healthcare, Charter Schools, and other partially funded mandates. Educators, the challenge is for you is to protect the very students you made a pledge to protect by challenging your union leadership to make meaningful change that will result in more money being directed to the student.
Teachers fear the union, and will continue to pay the union their dues. Nothing will change.
The union bullies the teachers, and teachers in return, bully the community. Give them a raise or they'll strike. Now what kind of lesson is that?
Get going!
The government schooling institute needs to be torn down and done over, without unions.
I am not a teacher and do not have the patience needed to be a teacher in today’s world. I have a hard time understanding how such a wonderful, overpaid, easy 9 months per year part-time job currently has a shortage of educators and has more teachers leaving the profession every year? Perhaps those of you whining about how great they have it compared to you’re situation should make the career change and be a teacher?
The working conditions are an indirect result of the teachers themselves. Let me splain.
Teachers pay dues to a union, though they are no longer mandated to, thanks to Trump.
So they pay dues, which go to the union's Political Action Committees, who take all that money to Democrat Candidates.
Democrats legislate everything to tear down families.
Democrats created the nanny state where women are rewarded with more welfare money with every child they have as long as the father isn’t living with the mother. Kids grow up without a positive male role model, cause havoc in school or drop out.
Democrats undermine the institutions of God and family.
They have a special hatred for the Christian view that undergirds the Constitution.
They demand everyone embrace and cheer on the lies of alternative lifestyle.
They demand Americans violate their conscience in order to provide women taxpayer-sponsored access to drugs that kill unborn babies.
Democrats push social experiments that lead to this Gender Disphoria crap.
They embrace gambling, Pot, and loosening laws controlling alcohol.
You see, teachers are their own worst enemy, and they're too stupid to realize this. If they knew this why would they continue to pay the union? Fear? That's it, afraid of the union retaliation.
Let's remember where all that money originates... me and you (taxes).
But hey, give another raise, they need money to take those long summer vacations.
Yea what he said. Right on Adopted Levite.
I wonder where Rambo has been lately. He must be on assignment

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