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Teachers Release Proposal Details

The West Chester Area Education Association release the details of the proposal rejected by the school board most recently.

The West Chester Area Education Association release the details of the proposal rejected by the school board most recently.

The following information comes from the Education Association's website.

The proposal from the union contains the following items:

1. Include Domestic Partners in the medical coverage.

2 .Increase premium share for health care plan from 10% to 12% in
the second year.

3. Increase the retiree’s Health Retirement Accountant for members
hired after 2003 from $20,000 to $35,000.

4. No change to any current retiree health benefits.

5. Reduced tuition reimbursement after Masters from 90% to 40%.

6. Increase supplementals (which have been frozen since 2009)
by 2%.

7. Wage increase:

a. 1st year: step and column movement half-way through the year, and an additional $500 to teachers at the top step

b. 2nd year: full step and column movement, and an additional $500 to teachers at the top step

After contract talks that began in February, the teachers and the District were reportedly $25 million apart.  With their latest two year proposal, the teachers’ union has closed the gap to $1 million which includes a 3.77% raise.  The teachers have given up cost of living increases and any monetary increases to the salary scale.

Coach Clark September 03, 2012 at 11:13 AM
..."which includes a 3.77% raise". Please inform the public taxpayers the actual salaries and benefits that would be paid for each level of the pay matrix for these jobs which only require working about half of the 365 days in a year. Stop the impossible to understand opaque process whereby many teachers earn enough to retire with $100,000+ in annual pensions benefits.
RoxyD September 03, 2012 at 12:09 PM
It seems that the WCASD school board doesn't care about the needs of our children and community. Their primary goal is to union bust. It's a shame that they are unwilling to negotiate a contract as they promised to do because of their political agenda. Whatever happen to a school board being nonpartisan?
Ted September 03, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Fire them all and hire teachers that want to teach and not be self seeking me first brats. I have lost all respect for West Chester Area "teachers" and they could care less as long as they get what they want. Fire them, bust the self seeking union and move on with a brand new system.
Watching September 03, 2012 at 12:20 PM
This contract could have been negotiated by now and still could be if the board was truly willing to negotiate, not dictate. The board could be unanimous on that issue if the team was truly negotiating. The other issue preventing further agreement is the negotiating team's other agenda: union busting. If the state legislature has the will to do so, then they can stop teachers from striking. Many states have done so. They can change the terms of collective bargaining for public employees. Local school boards do not have the power to do that, and to make our district miserable, contentious and draw out this process is criminal. Is it the will of the community that we bust the union? Is it the will of the Republican Party of Chester County? Or is it a union-hating group who has taken over our school board and is willing to take this district to another strike to get their way? That is what needs to be clear to parents and other community members. What we are seeing with these negotiations are the same stalemate we see in Washington DC. The union has made concessions yet the school board is saying no? They want the union gone. I am glad the teachers have made these concessions and don’t see this as an unreasonable contract..but then again I don't want to bust the union.
RoxyD September 03, 2012 at 12:39 PM
It's unfortunate that people like Ted and our school board hate the teacher's union so vehemently that they are willing to sacrifice our children and our home values to try to bust it. To find a solution to the a "problem" you must first go to the source. If you don't want a teacher's union, go to Harrisburg and lobby for change. They are just using our district to make a point and gain publicity for their political agendas.
Joyce LeDonne Young September 03, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Listen Ted - spend a day in a classroom with 28 elementary students then tell me teachers aren't worth being compensated fairly for their work. Get the facts before you continue sounding off your ridiculous rhetoric.
sergei bobrovsky September 03, 2012 at 01:15 PM
The gravy train is over folks. Can't keep raising taxes to catch up with this problem. You want what percent of your salary when you retire? How much of your medical coverage paid when you retire? If you don't like it, feel free to get a job that requires you to work year round. Please stop throwing the kids into the equation, saying to board doesn't care about them. That shows your true motivation.
Who Is Monk September 03, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Let’s take a look at our row office salaries – you can find them at http://alturl.com/y8kvb Commissioners- President gets $81,702 and the other two $80,702 Sheriff, Coroner, Recorder of Deeds, Clerk of Courts- $70,240 Treasurer - $70,240- is an attorney rarely in the county office District Attorney – $163,602 See Legislature salaries at http://alturl.com/89j5e Note another pay raise was included in the budget they just passed. Controller-$70,240 – I think he’s the Chair of the CC Rep Party Register of Wills/Orphans Court – $72,240 – I think this is a former school board member Note that these row offices receive medical benefits and pensions as well. And, they are not required to work in their office 8 hours a day....walk through the borough any work day afternoon around 300p and you might see a certain employee on her bar stool. Our Tax dollars at work!
Cathy Binder September 03, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I am so sick of this talk of triple figure retirements that keeps getting thrown out. It is not true and may apply only to our most highly paid administrators who actually make well over six figures for the bulk of their careers. No teacher in West Chester, even with a PHD can ever make a six figure income after working 30 years. If you don't believe it go to the PSERS website that explains how the pensions are calculated. I am not a teacher and did the research to become informed. And coach Clark, the 3.77% over the 2 years refers to the movement on the matrix that that has not one penny added to it. And for the complainers out there, keep in mind your taxes here in the WCASD are the LOWEST in the 12 county districts and your test scores are high. You have a quality district. And if one more person starts with the hours worked by teachers I may just lose it. You cannot compare one occupation to another. The responsibilities and requirements are just not comparable. It is like saying a doctor is comparable to a financial analyst. Both noble and needed professions, but you can't say one set of duties and hours worked are more onerous, etc. than the other. And as far as being funded by tax dollars - yeah, that is the way it is. And your home value is attached to it. I for one bought my house her for the quality of the schools and resent this board trying to do in the district for their personal ideology.
Cathy Binder September 03, 2012 at 02:52 PM
And let's note everyone of the salaries above is more than the average teacher salary in the WCASD. So Coach Clark may really need to be quiet. What exactly is her agenda - other than being bitter, nasty and doing the ideological talk for this crummy board? From what I understand she is not even a property owner in the district.
Who Is Monk September 03, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Cathy, This is how the extreme right (no abortion for rape and incest ) and yes people, that is a question that is asked of school board candidates when going for endorsement of the Rep party...abortion has nothing to do with being on the school board but that is what these people are about. Bust the Unions, choose where gov will control our lives, allow corporate welfare...they are very extreme and this board with the exception of 2 is just as extreme. Oh...and they want to kill public education for privately owned charter schools..
Harriet Laurin September 03, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Teachers want to be "fairly" compensated. Okay - everyone wants to be fairly compensated. Last year, the teachers graciously agreed to a 1-year wage freeze. But now the teachers must be reminded that their compensation comes from taxes, taxes based on the earnings of the wage-earners and property owners residing in their tax base. According to a Nov. 2011 report, 59% of Fortune 500 companies now offer domestic partner benefits. However, I would hazard a guess that many of my neighbors can't support a Fortune 500 educational system and I know I can't. I could also guess that the average resident in the school district didn't get a 3.77% raise in any of the last few years, isn't getting 90% of their doctoral tuition paid for, and isn't getting any special cash allocation to retiree healthcare benefits (currently $20k, now asking for $35k). Take a look at what the average resident's compensation structure is. Yes, we want the children to be well-educated; but some of us would like living in the district to remain affordable. When taxes keep increasing faster than the average resident's compensation rises, you eventually will drive out some of the homeowners you're asking to fund your compensation. In 2009, the median household income in West Chester was $42,922 (http://www.city-data.com/city/West-Chester-Pennsylvania.html) - and many of use work 12 months a year to get this, with substantially less in benefits..
Big Papa September 03, 2012 at 04:40 PM
A 3.77% raise over two years is reasonable. Many large employers in the county have been awarding raises averaging 3% each year where the workforce is comprised of professionals. Yes the vacation time teachers have is nice, but again 15 years in a professional role in the private sector one can expect to have 6-7 weeks off plus 10 or so paid holidays, so what the teachers earn is not much more. We need to be careful that when we are making comparisons to wages and benefits that we are comparing like jobs that would require the same leve if higher education and professionalism that we expect from our teachers. Domestic partner benefits are way overdue and are very common amount local private employers of similar size.
Tim Again. September 03, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Have the teaching system go over to a private sector where the poliicans can make big money. You are the typical tea party loon.
Cathy Binder September 03, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Harriet you are getting a Fortune 500 education system here in WCASD. And you are getting it for the lowest taxes in the county. Your teachers are not paid the best in the county, but at the lower end, last I checked in the bottom third. Is your median income for the borough? That figure for 2009 would off course be different than 2012 and the borough numbers are always low due to the demographics which are skewed due to the college students. I highly doubt the district is supporting homes that cost on average 300,000 on the low side on median incomes of 42,000. And Big Papa is right - 3.77% over two years is less than 2% per year,well less than cost of living.
Terri Clark September 03, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Cathy and Company, I have no idea who Coach Clark is and was unaware of these posts until someone informed of them. I don't waste my time blogging and IF I did I assure you I would use my real name. Sorry to disappoint
Ted September 03, 2012 at 10:28 PM
I can not and will not back down on my comments about firing all the already overpaid WCA school teachers and breaking up the self seeking "union". I wonder how many "teachers" without the "union protection and Tenure" to protect them would still have jobs based on performance alone. I know that there are good and great teachers and my comments are not for them. The last meeting I attended there was a lot of taxpayers that got up and stated a pay raise and tax increase would be a burden to many. All these people spoke in vain, the whole meeting was a done deal, and just a big show. When I saw the arrogance of the "union" "school board" and "teachers" in the room, all respect for WCASB went out the door. Don't tell me how "hard" you "work", I don't buy it one bit. Ted
Cathy Binder September 04, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Wow Ted, bitter much? When you make such comments you refer to all, because your comments are collective. Your taxes are the lowest in the county, move your house and you would see a substantial jump. Yet you have delivered to you a quality product by these so called inferior people. I dare say if we moved to a merit pay system we would pay just as much if not more. Somehow people seem to believe that if the system were different many people would be fired, I don't tend to believe that. Just like any other industry by and large the vast majority of the employees are high quality. Until the overall evaluation system, under state control, is changed we do not punish everyone. The fiscal situation in this district is improving. The teachers here have not even had a COLA in two years now. Many of our younger teachers are still working with first year pay despite excellent performance, having achieved a masters degree, as required by the state. That is the system they signed on to. At some point we must pay for the performance they are delivering - which is by all accounts excellent.
Concerned In WC September 05, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Ted, Ted, you have to understand something. This forum is for pro-union rich folks! These people live in areas that have been unaffected by the poor economy, & they see that unemployment numbers are starting to decrease in the county. If the unemployment numbers are dropping, then everything must be getting back to the status quo! It does not matter that most of us regular folk (older folks) have to scramble to get back on our feet for the next year or so while we fix the home that fell into disrepair when we had no extra income to maintain our house (or car...), or pay off the huge debt we incurred when the hot water heater blew unexpectedly & we had to put that onto a credit card. We should raise taxes & give in to the union now before we get accustomed to such luxuries as paying the credit card bill on time! Heaven forbid we work within our means-charge it to the taxpayers!
Concerned In WC September 05, 2012 at 06:10 PM
No point in getting riled up Ted. These bloggers are unreasonable. I, too, believe that it is high time for domestic partners to get benefits (Huh! A Republican who believes that!), but I do not appreciate the union demand (not mentioned on this page, but on the previous article with the WCASD Board statement) that there be no repercussions for striking! How dare they? This is the ultimate insult! This is the union saying "We aren't going to teach your children, but there's nothing you can do about it!"-the children are pawns in this union controlled negotiation. Oh-and the parents as well. The parents who will have to scramble to find child care so that they can continue to work (because employers are intolerant of you just not showing up for work), not to mention have to pay for the unexpected child care costs, all so they can pay the increase in taxes for teacher benefits. Does no one else see the irony here except for me & my friend Ted?
Cathy Binder September 05, 2012 at 09:58 PM
I think what happened the last time we got to the strike point was that the district was punitive. If you know the history there would have been no strike Mr. Sultanic had not promised the board he get more than was reasonable. The deal was that he would not accept the fact finders report, than was way to busy to be around to negotiate as he was dealing with another strike. They way it got settled, the board ultimately agreed to the fact finders report that the teachers had agreed to in the first place. Yet, the punitive measure against them were pretty ugly. I think their attitude is not again. I am not saying I agree with the position, but I remember and know the history. That said, there is not any talk of strike. But when I look at a budget that is not even looking at any salary increase through 2016, I have to wonder how serious are they about truly negotiating with ANY of the staff - not just teachers - but support staff, maintenance, or administrators? Sorry, things are not that bad anymore, and while there are individuals suffering, we have to work on the collective. That is how a business is operated. The schools are performing at a high level, tax dollars or not. Your taxes are LOW. Move anywhere else in the county and you will see a substantial uptick in what you pay.
Cathy Binder September 05, 2012 at 10:02 PM
And just did a quick check - per the U.S.census - the median household income in Chester county for 2010 was over 84,000. Far better measure than just West Chester, as the district comprises more than the borough, and actually includes some of the more affluent areas of Delaware County to boot.
Leon Congleton September 06, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Joyce . . .been there . . done that. Let's talk about the inept teachers in the district who are shuffled around the elementary schools because of their incompetence and thanks to the union the administration cannot fire them. Military retirees earn around 1/3 of what teachers retire with . . .now tell me who is more deserving of a teacher's retirement salary . . A soldier who has served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan or a belly-aching teacher whose toughest time in life was that summer camp you were force to go to as child? Take this opportunity, reflect what God has given you . . . You have a lucrative job that pays very well and retirement benefits and salary that out pace 3/4 of our retiring military!
Concerned in this West Chester September 07, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Um...concerned in west chester, which west chester are you concerned about? Where are you getting your info? While our high achieving schools have preserved our property values through these economical trying times, most west chester teachers can't even afford to live in west chester, let alone pay bills on time. Many of the teachers and especially the support staff and maintenance workers live paycheck to paycheck at best and pay taxes as well, usually more in their residential school districts. West chester has some of the lowest taxes in the state, while our unemployment is going down and our earned income average is going up. Please get your facts straight and leave politics and unionism out of this.
Joyce LeDonne Young September 07, 2012 at 01:40 PM
LIsten Leon - Don't lump me in with "inept teachers" with whom you refer. Maybe it takes one to know one. You don't walk in my shoes nor do you know what I'm about. Yes, veterans are deserving of a pension but do they spend 35 years earning that pension? Don't compare apples and oranges. Maybe it's just people like you who are doing the belly-aching. No classroom management skills? Bullied by your students? I don't know what your problem is but don't deny dedicated professionals their due. Hopefully you are out of the profession because I would hate for you to be my child's teacher.
Coach Clark September 11, 2012 at 01:50 AM
West Chester's Union... just as bad? Chicago Teachers Vote to Strike; 350,000 Kids Affected; 16% Raise Over 4 Years Not Good Enough; Strike of Choice; Roadblock to Reform The average teacher in Chicago makes $76,000 a year for nine months of work. They were offered 16% salary increase spread over four years. Given the system has a $665 million deficit this year and a bigger one next year, I am wondering why there should be a raise at all. Nonetheless, the New York Times reports With No Contract Deal by Deadline in Chicago, Teachers Will Strike. Read more at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/09/chicago-teachers-vote-to-strike-350000.html#2Z4E8pkeB6rlxXID.99

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