McKeesport Area, teachers pleased with pact
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The union representing Mc-Keesport Area School District teachers approved a three-year contract that includes salary increases -- but for the first time calls for teachers to contribute to health care plans.
The contract, which took effect Saturday, was ratified by the school board at its Aug. 15 meeting.
David Seropian, business manager for the district, said the contract was a "reasonable settlement" for both parties.
Teachers will receive $1,000 raises in the first year of the agreement and 3.5 percent raises in the second and third years.
But teachers will be expected to make monthly contributions toward health care costs.
In the first year, teachers will contribute $30 a month; in the second, $40 per month; and in the third, $45 a month, Mr. Seropian said.
McKeesport Area Education Association president Matthew Mols said the union recognized health care costs "are a hefty burden to public schools, and teachers are trying to do their part to ease that burden as much as they [can], while still making a living wage, of course."
The union and the district began negotiating in January and worked "cooperatively" to have a new contract settled more than two weeks before the old one expired, Mr. Seropian said.
The union recognizes it's a tumultuous time for public education, Mr. Mols said, but added negotiations were friendly. "We've had a great relationship with the district. I have nothing but good things to say."
First Published September 6, 2012 4:47 am