A Message from the
Pine-Richland School BoardAn Update on Negotiations
Date: May 9, 2014To: Pine-Richland CommunityFrom: Pine-Richland School BoardRe: Negotiations UpdateThe Pine-Richland Board of School Directors shares the community's concern regarding the current negotiations with the Pine-Richland Education Association. We share your deep appreciation for the service and dedication that our educators bring to the district. We also have a responsibility to ensure all of our contracts are reasonable and sustainable, so that we can continue to offer all students the best education possible without negatively impacting programs, class size and the taxation of our community.
- The board unanimously approved a fact-finder's report in March. This proposed settlement was the product of hundreds of hours of work on the part of district and union officials, with key areas of dispute mediated and decided by an impartial arbitrator. The settlement included an average 3.8% pay increase for teachers over five years, including retroactive raises back to 2012. We believe the fact-finder's recommendations provide a reasonable compromise to the contested issues while allowing the district to continue to attract the most qualified teachers to the district. It is unfortunate that this agreement was not ratified by the union.
- It has been inaccurately reported that from 2010 to 2012 the teachers received an effective salary freeze. The contract extension of 2010 provided for a 4% average increase in teacher salaries, while also extending the expiration of the teachers' early retirement incentive until 2012.
There is also a claim that the board unilaterally removed the previous retirement incentive. This is a misrepresentation of the collective bargaining process. The retirement incentive was not unilaterally removed by the board. Both the union and the board agreed that the retirement incentive program would expire with the contract signed in 2006. It is the expiration of this retirement incentive that the union has continued to raise during negotiations.
That incentive program has cost the district millions of dollars. In fact, last year, the district contributed over $1 million of taxpayer money towards honoring our ongoing commitment under the previous program. District administrators' and support staffs' retirement incentives were eliminated effective June of 2011.
- In addition to the concerns surrounding wages and health care costs, the district's state-mandated pension contribution rates on behalf of employees have risen by 200% since 2011. This figure is projected to increase by another 73% by 2017. These are all factors that must be considered when attempting to resolve the contract in an equitable manner.
We appreciate community interest in this issue. The teachers, staff, administrators, students and parents of Pine-Richland all create a wonderful learning environment that we hope to sustain for many years to come. A copy of the fact-finders report, with detailed explanations of the district's positions on these issues, is attached here so the community can remain informed.
2014 PR School Board of DirectorsPresident Peter Lyons ~ Vice President Jeffrey Banyas
Treasurer Dennis Sundo ~ Director Marc Casciani
Director Therese Dawson ~ Director Virginia Goebel ~ Director Holly Johnston
Director Laura Ohlund ~ Director Katie Shogan
Questions? Please contact the Pine-Richland School Board at: