Hampton school district, teachers reach deal

| Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The Hampton Township School District and its teachers have reached a contract agreement after 18 months of negotiations.

The four-year deal, retroactive to June, freezes teachers' salaries in 2013-14. Afterward, salaries on average are projected to increase about 3 percent. Teachers with less senority will receive larger pay raises, and those at the top of the salary scale will receive average annual increases of less than 1 percent.

Teachers will contribute more to their health care coverage, according to the district and the Hampton Township Education Association, which did not provide details.

The contract contains a one-time early retirement incentive that would pay those who take it $10,000 a year for up to four years.

The district's 210 teachers and the school board reached a tentative agreement last month. Teachers approved it last week, and the school board approved it on Monday.

“The entire process was handled in a very professional manner,” said David Gurwin, Hampton school board president. “We knew that we had a partner on the other side of the table in people who truly care about the education of our students.”

Chuck Ceccarelli, president of the teachers union and a high school chemistry teacher, said negotiations lasted longer than anyone expected.

“We were hoping to have it done earlier. It's always a difficult process. The extreme cuts that came from the governor's budget have put pressure on school districts,” Ceccarelli said.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or rwills@tribweb.com.

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