Pennsbury Negotiates for New Contracts
Pennsbury school teachers have been working without a contract for two years.
In what Pennsbury School District’s Chief Negotiator, Jeffrey Sultanik, described as a “good meeting of the two sides,” the Pennsbury Education Association representatives came to the bargaining table for the first time in nearly a year and a half to renew negotiations with the Board.
“We re-established communication and discussed the need for some updated data due to the passage of time,” said Sultanik. “Our economic assumptions have changed since we last met, and we agreed it would be vital to negotiations for revised financial projection models to be created.”
Teacher’s salaries and benefits totaled more than $82 million for the 2010-11 school year. Projected costs through the 2013-14 school year were $84.5 million, with the school facing a more than $4 million deficit.
During the two-hour meeting, both sides reviewed the following items: Memoranda of Understanding, healthcare costs, and the changing payroll figures based upon staffing numbers.
Due to the continued hiring of new certified staff up to the start of the school year, September 12 was established as a “snapshot date” from which to draw financial data for use in salary modeling, according to Sultinak.
George Miller, president of the PEA was not immediately available for comment. But Miller had said in April, when the PEA agreed to health benefits concessions that helped save the district $700,000, “We recognize that working with all parties to create administrative changes that are cost-effective and maintain services, benefits the entire Pennsbury community.”
There are about 810 certified staff members in the PEA working on terms from previous contracts that expired in 2010.
Two more negotiation sessions will take place Sept. 10 and Sept. 24.