ShareThis Page

Names, salaries of Hempfield Area teachers listed

| Monday, Jan. 29, 2007

An organization that wants to abolish public school strikes in Pennsylvania has posted the names and salaries of every Hempfield Area School District teacher on its Web site.

Simon Campbell, president of Stop Teacher Strikes Inc., said the data was posted on Friday to his organization's Web site .

StopTeacherStrikes Inc. seeks passage of state legislation prohibiting teacher strikes. Campbell, of Bucks County, started the Web site after a teachers strike in Pennsbury School District, near Philadelphia, idled his own children in 2005.

In addition to teacher salaries, the Web site lists Westmoreland County state legislators who the organization has identified as having taken campaign funds from teachers' unions.

Teacher salaries and campaign financing are public record. Campbell said he posted the figures as a means of providing "public accountability for public employees" because when public employees strike, "it's against the public interest."

Campbell also ackowledged that posting the information will draw attention to his group's efforts to make Pennsylvania the 39th state in the U.S. to outlaw teacher strikes.

"Too often, parents feel powerless," Campbell said. "We are hoping to spread our message that they don't have to feel that way, they can join us."

Campbell declined to reveal his organization's membership, but he said members hail from all over Pennsylvania.

Hempfield's teacher salaries are the second to be posted to Campbell's Web site. Earlier this month, Campbell posted salaries of teachers in Erie County's Millcreek Township School District.

Both districts are negotiating new contracts with their teachers, and each is under threat of a strike next month.

Millcreek Township's teachers intend to strike on Feb. 1 if a new contract is not in place, according to the district's Web site. Hempfield's teachers staged a 10-day strike from Sept. 21 to Oct. 4. They have issued a new strike notice for Feb. 23.

When directed to Campbell's Web site, Joe Scheuermann, president of Hempfield Area Education Association, said Hempfield teachers "are not ashamed" of their salaries.

He pointed out the Web site fails to include additional details behind Hempfield's salaries.

"What the listing of our salaries on the Internet does not provide is the level of education of each teacher listed, or the number of years they have worked to reach their salary," Scheuermann said. "Our salaries are actually low when compared to other professionals with similar levels of education."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.