After 2 years of negotiating, South Allegheny teachers have 4-year pact
After nearly two years of negotiations, South Allegheny School District teachers have a new four-year contract.
On Thursday night, the school board approved a collective bargaining agreement between the district and South Allegheny Education Association by a 7-0-1 vote.
The agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2008, when the last teacher's contract expired.
Board President Luke Riley abstained and Director Russell Geary was absent.
"This has been nearly a two-year process," Riley said. "Both sides worked very hard at coming to an agreement. Unfortunately, when it comes to a roll call vote, I'm going to have to abstain. I am totally in favor of this agreement being passed. The reason for my abstention is I have a sister-in-law who is a member of the association and, in addition, one of our borough officials is a member of the association."
Riley is Liberty's police chief.
"We're glad this process is over and an agreement has been reached," SAEA President Mary DiLonardo said on behalf of the association.
The contract raises teacher salaries an average of 2 percent each year of the agreement.
The new agreement requires that teachers contribute funds to pay for health insurance premiums. It also adds time to the work day, and increases the number of days for student instruction by one, to 183.
Teachers will work an additional five minutes per day during the 2010-11 school year, and another four minutes during 2011-12 for a total of an additional nine minutes.
District officials said there will be no tax increase as a result of the new contract.
"I'm very pleased we have reached an agreement," board Treasurer Dino DiFelice said. "As (Riley) said, it was a long time we worked together on both sides, nicely."
"The teachers are pleased the contract is done," said Butch Santicola, spokesman for Pennsylvania State Education Association. "It shows collective bargaining does work in Pennsylvania. They hung in there. It's done. Both sides ratified it and everyone's happy."
"This collective bargaining agreement has been a long, drawn-out process," district Solicitor George Gobel said. "At times, it was difficult. I commend the board members as well as the leadership of the association for allowing this process to move forward without a work stoppage."
The board also granted tenure to teacher Amber Haftmann and hired Danielle Baginski as a health and physical education teacher.
Directors authorized the purchase of a Western Pro Plus snow plow from Zoresco at a cost of $4,590.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.