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Contract talks continue in 2 Butler County districts

| Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, 6:04 p.m.

Two Butler County school districts are nearing the start of the school year with expired teachers' contracts.

The South Butler County School District's contract with its 173 teachers expired on June 30, according to the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the union that represents the teachers.

The Butler County Area Vocational-Technical School's 21 union members have been without a contract since June 30.

Unions and administrators at both districts are in negotiations, said Ann Mathewson, Midwest region field director for the PSEA. The negotiations are focused on salary, benefits and post-employment health care costs.

“It is a difficult time. There is only so much money school districts have to spend,” Mathewson said.

The average salary at the Vo-Tech is $47,800, while South Butler's average salary “is in the high 50s,” said Tom Breth, a lawyer representing both.

Teachers at Vo-Tech pay about $540 annually toward their health care coverage. South Butler teachers pay $600.

“Both parties are working hard to find common ground. School districts are really trying to control health care costs,” Breth 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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