East Allegheny school board passes budget, rejects fact finder's report

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East Allegheny school board on Monday night rejected a fact finder's report of recommendations for pay increases in the district's new teachers' contract.

In the district's resolution listing eight reasons to reject the report, the board said the state has determined that the East Allegheny School District has the second highest equalized mills of all of the 42 Allegheny County school districts, and the fourth highest equalized mills in Pennsylvania.

Lou Gerbi, president of the East Allegheny Education Association, the district's teachers' union, said he was extremely disappointed by the vote.

In a written statement handed out at the meeting, he said the teachers accepted several concessions in the fact finder's report to help the district.

Before the meeting, Mr. Gerbi said he hoped if the board rejected the fact finder's report, that the association and district would sit down and come to an agreement on the contract quickly.

School Director Frank Pearsol III said the fact finder's report recommended a pay freeze for teachers during the first year of the contract, then a one-step pay increase plus a 0.5 percent raise during the contract's second year and a one-step pay increase plus a 0.5 percent raise the third year of the contract.

He said the recommendation would have added up to a 4 percent increase in wages for teachers during each of the contract's second and third years.

Parties on both sides of the contract dispute said they hope negotiations continue, and that differences are resolved quickly in details of the new three-year contract. The current contract expires on June 30.

On Monday night, the school board also passed a $30,316,657 final budget for the 2012-13 school year that will keep real estate taxes at 27.54 mills, the same level as the current year.

Toni Valicenti, district business manager, said school directors didn't want to raise taxes for increased wages or for any other reason.

"We don't want to raise taxes for our residents. That would be the bottom line," board President Gerri McCullough said after the vote. education - neigh_east

First Published June 11, 2012 10:15 PM


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