Leechburg Area, teachers have tentative contract agreement
Leechburg Area School District and its teachers union have a new, tentative contract.
Both the district and the union still have to formally approve the proposed five-year deal for the district’s 63 teachers, but Superintendent Tiffany Nix said negotiators for both sides OK’d it.
If approved, the so-called “early bird” deal would be made with 10 months still left on the district’s current contract with teachers. The new pact would take effect on July 1 of next year and would run through June 30, 2025.
Leechburg Education Association President Patty Osborne said in an email that the contract is a “fair and equitable agreement” that benefits the district, association and community.
District Treasurer Bradley Walker said both sides accepted the contract notes and teachers’ representatives are preparing a printed contract for signature. No one could say when that printed contract would be available.
Walker said the contract calls for teacher pay increases of 2.99% for each of the five years. That would amount to a combined salary increase of about $130,000 a year or $650,000 over the five years. Walker said the salary increases are included in the district’s budget projections.
The district hopes to reduce personnel costs by encouraging teachers who are close to retirement age to use a retirement incentive that is part of the proposed contract, Walker said.
Under the provision, retired teachers would get health care for up to five years instead of three years specified in the current contract, Nix said.
Teachers would have a $2,700 annual health care deductible, but the district would contribute half of that amount to the teachers’ health service accounts, Nix said.
The salary for a starting teacher is $50,454.
Under the proposed contract, the district would hold an “education celebration” event for the community that teachers will attend.
Osborne said the teachers union has a “good working relationship with the administration” and that “helped the process to run very smoothly.”
“We were able to maintain our health care contributions at the same rate, see improvements to the Early Retirement Incentive, as well as increasing salaries for our members,” Osborne said.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .