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New Kensington-Arnold approves tentative, 3-year contract with teachers

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Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, 1:21 a.m.
 

The New Kensington-Arnold School Board on Thursday approved a tentative agreement with the district's teachers union, whose current contract expires on Sunday.

Superintendent John Pallone said details would not be released until the union approves the contract.

It was presented as a three-year deal that would expire at the end of the 2016-17 school year.

Connie Vita, president of the New Kensington-Arnold Education Association, said a vote by the teachers has not been scheduled. The union represents about 180 teachers.

“I would like to thank the board for agreeing to this tentative agreement,” she said.

The board unanimously approved the agreement with member Jason Fularz abstaining because his wife is a district teacher.

A representative with the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the local union's parent organization, earlier this month expressed concern that a tentative agreement wouldn't be reached because the two sides hadn't met since June.

She noted the district this summer was busy planning for the start of the school year that involved closing schools and moving classrooms to consolidate, likely a distraction from the bargaining process.

The last contract was a three-year deal, approved about six months late in February 2012, that froze wages in the first year and offered raises of 1 percent to 2 percent in the following years.

During the budget-planning process this spring, Pallone said the board had not factored teacher raises into this school year's financial plan; only annual salary-step movement was budgeted.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com.

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