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Shaler officials, teachers unable to reach contract agreement

| Thursday, May 30, 2013, 6:44 p.m.

Shaler Area School District officials and the teachers union failed to reach a contract agreement again after the Shaler Area Education Association rejected the fact-finder's report dated May 20.

The Shaler Area Education Association voted yesterday against the report, which recommends a wage and salary step freeze in year one of the four-year contract through the 2014-15 school year.

The fact finder's recommendation includes a step movement after the first year of the contract and a $775 addition to step 19 in years two through four of the contract and a $375 addition to steps 1 to 10 only in year three, the 2013-14 school year.

Steps are increases in pay that are related to the amount of teaching experience.

The supplemental salaries increase by 1, 1.25 and 1.5 percent respectively in year two, three and four of the contract.

The fact-finder report recommends that the monthly health insurance contribution rates increase to $35 and $70 in year two for an HMO plan and up to $50 and $100 in year four of the contract period.

The recommendations also include increasing the teachers' work day to six periods with two preparation periods.

Shaler Area teachers have been working under the terms of the previous contract since it expired Aug. 15, 2011, and union and district officials have been meeting since January 2011 to negotiate a new contract.

The fact-finder's report, as completed by state appointed fact-finder Michelle Miller-Kotula, is the second to be presented since negotiations started.

The first fact-finder's report was released on Oct. 31, 2011, and its recommendations were rejected by both the school district and the union.

Following the Shaler Area Education Association's rejection of the fact-finding report, the report became available for public review. Both sides have five to 10 days to reconsider the recommendations and vote on the fact-finding report again.

The complete text of the fact-finder's report is available through the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board at www.dli.state.pa.us/plrb.

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