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WCASD Approves Support Staff Contract

The West Chester School Board agrees to a three-year deal with the district's support staff union.

The West Chester School Board voted to approve a three-year contract with the district’s support staff on Monday night.  A concession by the support staff union on health care will save the district an estimated $380,000 over the life of the contract.

“This contract represents the true spirit of compromise,” said board president Vince Murphy.  “The West Chester Service Support Professionals recognized that it was financially necessary for us to make changes with our insurance plan offerings and other benefits, and they worked with us to make this contract a reality.”

Still, board member Heidi Adsett voted no on the contract; the only member of the board to do so.

“I cannot support any contract that involves forced unionism,” Adsett said.  “It is my belief that that decision should be left up to the employee.”

The main change in the health insurance plan came when union members agreed to make cost-sharing contributions that amount to 10 percent in the first year of the contract and then 12 percent and 14 percent in the subsequent years.

Support staff workers will also receive a 24 cent hourly raise in the first year of the contract and a 49 cent and 38 cent raise the following years.

“I want to thank both sides for their hard work in getting this deal done,” said board member Sean Carpenter.

Board member Dr. Maria Pimley added, “In the long-run this deal will be beneficial to both sides.”

William December 05, 2012 at 12:10 AM
It is absolutely our business as we pay your salary Roxy. If you don't want the public to weigh in on these issues you too could go to a private or charter school. If unions are so great why do they need to force people to pay into the system? It's extortion, plain and simple. Unions only protect bad teachers. You seem to like the union a lot Roxy, I guess we know just how good you are at your job.
Steve Maher December 05, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Morons like Heidi Adsett, Simon Campbell, and Bob Guzzardi do not realize this legislation comes from Harrisburg! They are so stupid they think they are going to change things politically on the school board! This shows their incompetence and lack of understanding how a school board functions. Maybe they should go back to making inappropriate "videos". Find a hobby morons!
RoxyD December 05, 2012 at 12:40 AM
I'm not a teacher. Not in a union and never was. I am educated, however, and capable of seeing other points of view. I can also understand that, like it or not, we need to operate within the system that is in place. Change needs to occur on the state level not local. You obviously choose to not educate yourself on what is going on in Pennsylvania or you simply don't understand how it works.
Bob Mull December 05, 2012 at 03:30 AM
How can Simon Campbell be allowed at a WCASD Board meeting? He lives 40 miles away. Please vote Heidi off the board she has one agenda and it is not to help our students.
edufan December 05, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Ok, Mr. Murphy, now is the time for you to compromise with the other two unions. As for Heidi: hate unionism all you want but outside the realm of your role on the school board. If you cannot do that, then get off of the board now.
Cathy Binder December 05, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Bob, one question. Do you live in the West Chester area school district? Most recent rumors state you do not. So if that is true and it may not be, and if so I apologize, what is your interest in inflicting your opinions into the affairs of our district?
Cathy Binder December 05, 2012 at 11:05 AM
You are right Steve. The right to strike while he hates it, is legal. So therefore the way to change it is through state action. Nobody is going to write such language into a contract. How ridiculous. That could be challenged legally and I dare say would be overturned. The pension is under state control as well, and is actually part of the state Constitution. Does it need reform, yep, but to lay it at the feet of the teachers and the negotiating process locally is foolish. And has he polled the WCASD teachers? Do they want out of the union? How many fair share members are there? In this contentious environment my guess is more would want to be full members than not. If the union has all this "power" that many on here post about why would anyone not want to be a member. According to these people the union basically rules the world. What a riot. What lacks in all of this is that a school is much more than teachers and unions. Yes, the largest part of budget is personnel, no kidding. Human capital is essential. But there are many other costs involved in education. Mr. Campbell how about posting the numbers associated with your district, your test scores, your AYP scores, your literacy goals, your plans to implement the Common Core etc. How do you keep up. I go to meetings in my district and I am very impressed with the teachers and administrators here. Why do you and others want to derail our success? I think the adults here can speak for themselves.
Cathy Binder December 05, 2012 at 11:10 AM
On what basis do you say unions protect bad teachers. I think that is a myth that has been too long perpetuated. I want to see facts. I work in an large corporation. We can't just fire people either. There is a long process that requires documentation, improvement plans, counseling etc. etc. We don't have white collar unions where I work but there are worker protections in place. This idea of making a couple mistakes or being a crappy employee means you called in and get fired is largely the stuff of Hollywood. The union protects due process rights. The process may be burdensome, but is the management's job to document the problems and take the action, not the union.
Bob Guzzardi December 05, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Simon Campbell has repeatedly made the point that local school districts have the power to eliminate forced unionism as well as automatic deductions by contract. You are right that eliminating teacher strikes are a state issue as are pensions. This article contains the numbers related to both Pennsylvania Pension Liabilities. As far as I know, no one disputes these numbers and they may even be worse because there is an expected rate of return of 7.5% which may be unrealistic. "The Office of the Budget projects a $41 billion unfunded liability for the pension systems that include teachers and state workers. Trying to cut pension costs would pit Corbett against public-sector unions, which are among the state’s most influential interest groups. Corbett, however, said the first hurdle is the Republican-controlled General Assembly. The governor’s office issued a recent report citing “staggering” pension costs that more than doubled in the past two years. Pensions for state and school employees cost taxpayers $1.5 billion this year and will rise to $2.2 billion in 2013 and $5.16 billion in 2019-20, Budget Secretary Charles Zogby said. " Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/3069498-74/corbett-pension-state-costs-leaders-public-budget-gov-pennsylvania-billion#ixzz2EBKVCqG6
Bob Guzzardi December 05, 2012 at 03:08 PM
More Pennsylvania budget challenges:” … a report released last month by the state Independent Fiscal Office projected $832 million in revenue growth in the current budget. The same report projected increased pension costs to consume $500 million of that growth — with overall costs climbing from $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion — while medical assistance payments would eat another $100 million of it as they climb from $4.8 billion to $4.9 billion." READ More PaIndependent 4 December 2012 Pennsylvania Budget Outlook Not Rosy http://paindependent.com/2012/12/smith-budget-outlook-not-rosy-or-easy
Bob Guzzardi December 05, 2012 at 03:36 PM
In 2010, The Republican General Assembly and the Republican Governor, conniving with Union Organizers failed to address the underfunded pension problem in 2010 with the Kick the Can Down the Road Act 120 of 2010. There is no reason to think Republican House and Senate leadership will not sell out The Forgotten Taxpayer again. READ MORE http://www.scribd.com/doc/114512706/Act-120-of-2010-Kick-the-Can-Down-the-Road-Pretending-to-be-Pension-Reform (163 words).
Helen Weber December 05, 2012 at 04:31 PM
As one who believes in fairness and equality, I am beginning to see the fairness of redistribution of wealth as put forth by President Obama. The president wants to nationalize all 401K and IRA so that they can be equally distributed through a new Retirement Program. Since the teacher's pensions have been funded by taxpayers and since many of these taxpayers (or even non-taxpayers) do not have such a pension, it would be only fair that the next step for redistrbution would be to have the Teacher's Pensions nationalized and redistributed to the general public. Also why is the West Chester School Board negotiating on a Health Care Contract with the union. The union was for ObamaCare, therefore, the teachers should be enrolled in ObamaCare.
Star Thrower December 05, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Exactly right Helen .. teachers are the 1%'ers of the middle class - nationalize their pensions and since taxpayers also fund their social security payments .. limit them to the Max SS allowance.
RoxyD December 05, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Repetition doesn't make it truth. Especially considering the source. Can you find an instance anywhere in the State where it has happened? Teachers are PART of the PSER along with a lot of other state employees including legislators. The State needs to reform the pension system. Talk to Governor Corbett. The school boards can't do anything about it, except maybe send a letter to legislators, which I think WCASD did. It's not really fair to single out the teachers when they are part of a large group.
Star Thrower December 05, 2012 at 05:43 PM
It's EXACTLY because teachers are part of a LARGE GROUP that they have the unmitigated audacity to throw their weight around slamming taxpayers and pretending they are also taxpayers ... get a life Kaliner .. or Seaman .. whichever you are.
star_enthraller December 06, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Excellent question. According to her previous post, she wants to stop negative opinion and publicity of the board by contacting senior boys (ask class of 2011). Only her husband or Simon would know more about that. Also, she needs to calm Snook down because as people saw, Snook wants to burn books like, Water for Elephants. Sean merely wants help untying his Romney/Ryan banner which he tied very high on his porch. It is very high, close to a "bow" or bough of a tree. Ask him for the spelling. What has the board done? They drove away two professionals from administration. Hurd was actually someone they needed to help with negotiations, but they let him walk, and Bertrando was WCASD's golden boy, and they drove him away. Bravo! Snook wants to burn books along with one other board member, and the district now has weaker leadership coming in January. bravo!
edufan December 06, 2012 at 05:15 AM
You do realize that 7.5% of our pay is deducted for our retirement. We have no choice. Believe me, I'd much rather invest that money myself, but again, Helen and Star, I have to choice. PA legislation dictates that I am forced to pay into the PSERS retirement system. So instead of bashing teachers and stating that we are the who created this fiasco, do some research. Really, your anger should be with the legislators, not the teachers. If I was a 1%er of the middle class, Star, I would be able to afford to live in a nice place like Hershey Mills where most of the people who come to the board meeting whining that they can't their kid's mortgages. I live on a teacher's salary; I am hardly a ..what did you call us again, oh yes a "1%'ers of the middle class". What a joke! You have proven, yet again, how ill informed you really are.
Cathy Binder December 06, 2012 at 10:24 AM
What do you think Obamacare is? It is not some nationalized health care program. We do not have single payer. Obamacare simply requires all to have insurance and for employers who employ more than 50 people to provide it. Yes, more to it than that. However the teachers in West Chester to pay to their cost - you can argue they should pay more, but that may be the end of your argument.
Bob Guzzardi December 06, 2012 at 01:01 PM
The Forgotten Taxpayer pays ALL costs of the unionized government K-12 system for a total of $26 BBillion dollars. Who speaks for The Forgotten Taxpayer? Not the Unionists. Not the Teachers. Not even the Republicans. Coerced Collectivism, Unionism, drives up the ever escalating cost of government. And then there is this the matter of an individual's Constitutional and God given Liberty that Coerced Collectivism and Unionism subvert. Heidi Adsett and Simon Campbell speak proudly and publicly for individual Liberty and The Forgotten Taxpayer. What are we teaching our children when we force individuals to join a union in order to engage in their chosen work? We teach them that might makes right. We teach them that the individual has to submit to the collective will. We undermine individual dignity and individual autonomy. An individual is created with Free Will. Collectivism stands against that Free Will.
Helen Weber December 06, 2012 at 05:47 PM
edufan, I realize that it is the legislature that is the problem (dems and rep) since they refuse to pass a Right to Work Law in our state. (This is because the teachers/unions, to which you contribute, lobby against such legislation.) This legislation would allow those teachers that do not want to pay union dues to exempt themselves. You mention that the people of Hershey Mills coming to the meeting complaining. (I do not live there and am not into the class warfare as you obviously are.) I only wish they did come en masse to the school board meetings. Teachers salaries and benefits are far higher than many of the taxpayers salaries/benefits in the district. However, if you are not happy with what is offered in this district, you always have the option of looking for a position in another district or changing your profession.
edufan December 06, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Helen, I am not into class warfare, either, but when I am accused of stealing taxpayers money, (of which I am one) I become outraged. I resent being grouped into something of which I have no control, and that is legislation. Oh, I can contact my represenatives and senators, and i have, but I am ignored as I am "only a teacher/union, to use your phrase. As far as forced into membership? WRONG. Of course, if a teacher does not want to be a part of the union as it stands today, then they need to be prepared to negotiate their individual contract, and good luck to that! Do I think there needs to be reform in our current union structure? Of course, but please stop bashing teachers. We are not the enemey,and I am quite sick and tired of our profession being treated like common criminals.
Cathy Binder December 07, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Good for you edufan, enough of it. I as a parent too am sick of hearing it. I would bet most of the naysayers on here have not set foot in a school in too many years to count. I bet you wish you had the power they all ascribe to the union. If it were so true you would not be sitting there with no pay raise, no cost of living for the past two years and no contract looking to be settled any time soon. Yet, I know I got a pay raise and a bonus this year as did my husband. I know that most of the major corporations around here are doing just fine. WE cannot compare the school district to the small business on the corner. Sorry, it is not the same thing and we cannot expect it or the employees to be treated as such. This is a wealthy community, like or not. I see what the parents demand and expect of the teachers, and guess what they deliver. OUr taxes are low, and we are the 19th richest county in the nation. Quit bellyaching. At some point all the data is point to a recovering situation. What do you think is going to happen, that we are never going to give the teachers a raise again? Come on. That is not even realistic. This is not about unions at all. My take, if they could go in and ask for a raise, what they would be given based on performance would be more than we could begin to afford - and it would be well deserved.
Star Thrower December 07, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Binder/Fell - you are a bad joke on chester county that's coming to an end .. every taxpayer who reads the tripe that escapes your pie hole is very aware that you're no parent, and if there actually is a Cathy Binder, it is certainly not you - your union is nothing now, but a shell of depravity ... all that is left of the once great teachers of this country. Do you ever take time to read the ridiculous words you write? If so, please explain what "At some point all the data is point to a recovering situation" means? There is no data that has not been contrived by union propagandists to quiet the ever growing anger of taxpayers who listen to union infestations like yours ... so what you actually mean is that "at some point (YOU HOPE) all the data WILL POINT to a recovering situation" which it can never again do of course .. because, not only has your union pestilence stolen the future of the children you profess to care about, your pension fund is now invested in such a fashion as to destroy the aquifers of the country by pumping billions of gallons of Halliburton poisoned fluid deep into the earth, and then exploded at 10,000 psi to go where?? ... and all you have to say is that you have no control how your pensions are invested ... just like your court jester edufan believes she had no part in electing the corrupt legislators that she continually cries about.
Star Thrower December 07, 2012 at 05:37 AM
The current fiscal cliff talks are a joke by any measure, if you truly understand the accounting fraud that is, and has been taking place for the last decade .. the fiscal cliff will of course be postponed at the last second by government ectoplasm-filled suits who will all require first aid for injuries suffered by violently patting themselves on the back, and the extreme exertion of once more raising the debt ceiling .. this time though, hoping for the new rule of never having to ask again about the debt ceiling ... music to the ears of parasites in every corner of the education blob .. yes? Pensions all over the country are an illusion (and failing) as I have shown you with Kodak .. yet you are still content to sit back with the twisted sisters of WC Vote and blow your smoke up the rear ends of fools like edufan and Decker, who still believe they are helping children ... and all you can ever say when the truth is presented to you is ... blah, blah, blah.
edufan December 07, 2012 at 11:01 AM
Star's off of its meds again.
Cathy Binder December 07, 2012 at 11:06 AM
??? So now the federal issues are also the fault of the teacher unions too? All pension plans are evil. Do you know the history of 401K's - a way for execs to hide income, never intended to be a way to provide for a secure retirement. And most decent companies contribute toward them in any case. The debt ceiling only obligates us to pay for debt already incurred. It has nothing to do with the authorization of "new" spending. To state educators do not help children - really? Who is teaching them every day? Who would teach them even if the evil union disappeared? So you cut pay to nothing, take away all benefits, strip away a pension, make the job totally unattractive so that people don't want to do it. That works? In the end even those passionate about teaching still have bills to pay, still have children of their own to raise, still have medical problems, still live in the world. And we as a nation decided a long time ago that education in the public sector was essential to our democracy. That fact that we need to reform aspects is no reason to categorize teachers as evil parasites. That is just not logical thinking and sir, it borders on slanderous.
Star Thrower December 07, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Not all pension plans are evil .. specifically, the ones which were enacted by collusion with corrupt legislators, and are are funded by threatening the foreclosure of homes who could see their property tax triple in the next couple of years, as a direct result of the aforementioned criminal activity of the teachers union thugs. Teachers who truly help children are not unionized, and are not bound to teach with government indoctrination textbooks as well as contrived critical thinking techniques in the formative years of children .. you don't cut pay to nothing (as you love to portray yourself as the martyr with your 7dprinceton self deprecation routine), but you do cut that pay down to the average private sector labor level, as you also love to think of yourselves as "Professionals" in a labor union. The we as a nation you are speaking of, can all take care of ourselves perfectly well on $46K per year and we as a nation long ago did not anticipate the end of cheap oil nor the population explosion of the planet. As far as the word parasite that your union objects to ... the word parasite and leech are accurate and describe an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host, and taxpayer in this respect) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense
Helen Weber December 08, 2012 at 02:51 AM
We need PA to become a Right to Work state. As far as the teacher's union, we saw what they did in Wisconsin when the union's power was threatened. Governor Walker won by a larger vote than he did the first time. But the teacher's union cost the taxpayers a lot of money because of their actions. By the way the people of Wisconsin, during the last election, again elected a majority of republicans, who favor the Right to Work law, to both houses. This is not an attack on the individual teacher (one of whom is a member of my family), it is an opposition to a powerful union which many times runs roughshod over the general public. The public's facilities should not be used to collect union dues. If the individual teacher wants to fund their union, they should be responsible for sending in their dues themselves.
Star Thrower December 08, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Yes, we do need to become a right to work state Helen. Looks like Binder/Fell wants no part of this argument, or surely she would have been here earlier instead of at the WC Vote Rumor Mill having manly girl discussions.
Helen Weber December 08, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Governor Christie calls teacher's union Political Thuggery. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzzYGazQOB8

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