| Neighborhoods

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pine-Richland teachers reject, board approves fact-finding report

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Pine-Richland Education Association rejected a fact-finding report in its negotiations with district officials, after the school board approved it.

The report was released March 13 after the union's decision March 12.

The school board voted 8-0 at the planning meeting last week to approve the report, with board member Therese Dawson absent.

Various issues are in dispute, according to the report issued by fact-finder Michelle Miller-Kotula on March 3, including total days to be worked per year, a retirement program, long-term substitutes' access to health care and salaries.

Dan Cary, a UniServ representative for the Pennsylvania State Education Association, which is affiliated with the local union, said the teachers voted to reject the report for a few reasons. The fact-finder's recommendation froze pay for teachers at the top of the salary schedule for the length of the contract, increased how much teachers would contribute for health insurance and removed an early-retirement incentive proposed by the union, he said.

Those recommendations are “fundamentally unfair” to teachers at the top of the schedule, Cary said.

“We felt there was a need to go back and bargain better for those people at the top of the scale,” he said.

District officials proposed a five-year contract with an average salary increase of 2.75 percent each year and full retroactivity to July 2012, while the teachers union sought a 5-percent increase per year with the understanding that an adjusted salary schedule would be agreed upon by both parties, according to the report.

Miller-Kotula's report recommended to set annual pay at $41,798 for a teacher with a bachelor's degree at the first step on the salary schedule and pay of $95,650 for a teacher with a doctorate at the top step of the salary schedule.

The union represents about 335 teachers.

Pine-Richland teachers have been working under the provisions of a contract that expired in June 2012. The two sides will vote again by March 23, in case either has reconsidered.

If it is accepted by the district and the teachers union after the second round of voting, a new contract will be put in place.

“The district is hopeful that the parties will be able to accept the fact-finding report at that time and, in the process, reach a contract settlement that will provide stability for the district,” Pine-Richland spokeswoman Rachel Hathhorn said in a statement.

The fact-finding report can be accessed on the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board website under fact-finding reports.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read North Hills

  1. Organizing background checks takes schools time
  2. NA grad formulates bath, beauty products with natural ingredients
  3. Franklin Park woman honored by Lupus Foundation
  4. Drone to help Northern Regional police zone in on missing, fleeing people
  5. North Hills grad earns ‘principal of the year’ honor
  6. Zelienople-based skateboard business starting to take off
  7. Bridge work to close Little Pine Creek Road in Shaler
  8. Northgate Church members lead mission trip to help poor in West Virginia
  9. Richland Community Day promises smorgasbord of action
  10. Wexford Health-hosted program to raise awareness of food allergies
  11. Cala Lily Cafe gets new life, location