New Kensington-Arnold OKs teachers contract just in time for start of school |
Valley News Dispatch

New Kensington-Arnold OKs teachers contract just in time for start of school

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Tribune-Review file photo

After more than two years of negotiations, teachers in the New Kensington-Arnold School District have a new contract.

The contract runs through June 30, 2021, and is retroactive to Sept. 1, 2017.

Teachers will report for Monday as scheduled; students return Wednesday.

Under the terms of the contract:

• The starting salary for a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree will be nearly $46,800. That is unchanged and remains the same through the life of the contract.

• At the top of the bachelor’s scale, the salary will increase from about $76,550 to close to $77,150 in the contract’s final year.

• Teachers receive no retroactive raise for the 2017-18 school year, and no step advancement, but will get 2.63%, including step advancement, for last school year.

• They will receive an additional 2.81% in the coming school year and another 2.91% in the 2020-21 school year, both including step advancement.

• Teachers’ health care contributions will increase this year to $65 a month for employee-only coverage, up from $50, and $125 a month for coverage for family, spouse and children, up from $80. It will remain at those rates for the next school year, too. Teachers will pay $10 per month for dental coverage.

• Supplemental contracts for sports coaches and activities sponsors will remain the same as they were two years ago.

• Teachers will work 187 days, including 181 teaching days and six in-service days. Workdays will be 7.5 hours, including a half-hour paid lunch during which they won’t have any duties. One of their periods each day will be set aside for planning.

The school board voted 6-0 Thursday to approve the agreement, which teachers accepted Wednesday. Board members Ellyse Williams, Robert Fusia and Chelsea Stone were absent.

The union represents 160 teachers and other professionals in the district.

The last contract between the district and the New Kensington-Arnold Education Association ended Aug. 31, 2017.

“This is a fair and reasonable collective bargaining agreement for both the district and the teaching staff,” Superintendent John Pallone said Thursday evening in a prepared statement.

Union President Jason Moore, a high school history and economics teacher, did not disclose the results of the teachers’ vote, beyond that they approved the agreement.

Union officials see the pay increases teachers are getting differently. Excluding step advancement, the union says the average raise is 0.53% per year.

“This four-year agreement helps NKAEA preserve our commitment to providing the best possible education to the students of the New Kensington-Arnold School District,” union spokesman Phil Cope said in a statement. “Throughout this negotiation process, NKAEA bargained to maintain a quality education for all of our students.”

It won’t be long until the district and union are in talks again. Officials said they’ll start bargaining again in January 2021.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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