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Pennridge offers teachers 16% pay hike over five years


The Pennridge School Board has offered its professional staff a 5-year contract that calls for salary increases totaling 16.57%. The details were included in an email to parents sent through the district’s Blackboard message system.

Without a new deal, teachers would return to the classroom later this month working under the terms of a contract that expired June 30.

The proposal calls for a 5.4% wage increase in the first year and an average of 3.37% annually. Starting salary would increase 13.3% to $51,000 in the first year and to $56,000 in the final year. The top salary would increase to $112,333, which is above the county average, according to the district, and go up to $116,035 in the last year of the pact.

The district says the average salary for a Pennridge teacher would reach $101,763 by the final year of the deal.

Teacher contribution to medical benefits would stay the same (14%) in the first year, then increase by .5% each year, eventually reaching 16% by the final year. The annual deductible ($450 for an individual and $900 for a family) would remain the same until year three when it would increase to $600/$1,200 and stay the same for the duration of the deal.

The district said the proposal was made public “to address any misunderstanding” about its position. Tentative agreements have been reached on more than a dozen issues, and both sides are working to resolve the remaining issues and finalize a new contract, the district said in the email.

A spokesperson for the Pennridge Education Association, which represented about 500 teachers, said its counter-proposal is being finalized and will be shared with the district negotiators before being made public.

The district’s email said the two sides have met for bargaining 11 times “in addition to numerous other discussions between those meetings.”

Other highlights of the district’s proposal for a five-year contract include:

● Changes to salary schedule structure to recognize years of service, removal of caps on step movement for teachers without a masters degree, column consolidation and an additional step for higher salary;

● Retention of existing language providing a stipend for teaching an additional section at the high school or middle schools;

● Changes to the Professional Learning Time program to address feedback and concerns expressed by PEA. It would also provide substantial opportunities for collaboration with staff on special education and other topics;

● An increase to retirement pay from $45 to $50 per unused sick day, with the cap raised from $3,500 to $3,750;

● An increase to tuition reimbursement from $180 per credit to $225 per credit for classes used for Level II certification.

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