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Phoenixville Wants to Cut Some Teachers' Salaries

Football coach Bill Furlong would, reportedly, be affected.

The ongoing contract dispute between the Phoenixville Area School District and its teachers union took place on a bigger stage than usual on Thursday.

According to The Mercury, tensions were high in the high school auditorium, as over 100 educators wore black PASD shirts to the school board meeting to protest the district’s proposal to reduce seven currently full-time teaching positions to part-time.

The paper is reporting that the change would affect physical education and foreign language teachers at the high school and middle school. These teachers would keep their benefits, but lose a portion of their salary. Phantom football coach Bill Furlong would, reportedly, be one of the teachers impacted.

While union representatives said the ongoing negotiations have caused a large strain on district teachers—“No words can describe the dismay felt by the staff over the past few weeks,” said PAEA representative Catherine Renzulli, according to the paper—the teachers were unwilling to accept the recommendations of a mediator assigned to the case. And despite the fact that, according to the paper, on 11 of the 12 issues in contention the mediator sided with the teachers, the union is also unwilling to use the report as the groundwork for future negotiations.

The district seems eager to come to terms.

“We feel it is time to settle,” school board president Josh Gould told the paper. “This has gone on long enough.”

According to district community relations coordinator Sandra Claus, the two groups have scheduled negotiation dates for May 15 and May 28.

Read the full story here.

Previous reporting on the CBA negotiations:

  • School District: We'll Resume CBA Talks on Feb. 26
  • On the (Non) Deal: Teachers Union Releases Statement on CBA Progress
  • PASD School Board: Teachers Union Balked at New CBA Offer
  • The New CBA That Wasn't: Fact Finder's PASD Recommendations Released
  • Phoenixville School Board Rejects Fact-Finders' CBA Recommendation
  • Update: Fact-Finder Appointed in Teacher's CBA Dispute
  • Mediator in Teachers' Contract Dispute Could Be Appointed Soon
Obama Remorse April 22, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Why not? They and their henchmen (i.e. Democrats bought and paid for by the teacher union) make "bad guys" out of anyone who dares challenge them when they try to reach further into our collective pockets to take more of our money. Keep pushing and you get pushed back.
Obama Remorse April 22, 2013 at 06:55 PM
You don't get paid based on the amount of family you need to support - you (should) get paid based on the market value of your skills and results. Of course, the teacher goonion doesn't want it like that - it's based on time served and type/number of degrees and courses taken (many on the taxpayer dime no less).
Veto April 22, 2013 at 07:02 PM
What's wrong with trade schools? We are what makes the world turn. It's people with that mindset that ruin the economy. Schools and parents beat this idea into their children's heads that a blue collar job isn't a real job. You are single handedly raising the prices for everything. Now a plumber is a specialist. Nobody wants to get dirty anymore and it's sad. I'm proud of my trade and my paycheck.
Voice of Reason April 22, 2013 at 07:32 PM
The argument from the pro teachers that they have a lot to put up with is nonsense. It's not like they they didn't know all of that before they got into teaching, it still doesn't justify the high salaries. I remember when I went to Phoenixville back int he 90's there were teachers there making over $100k and I believe there were a few gym teachers up around that amount. When taking into consideration the high taxes in the area that many seniors have a hard time paying, the current state of the job market, comparison to what the private sector pays for benefits, the teacher's union is a little unrealistic. To the point about teacher's spouses having to pay their benefits themselves as a sticking point, I believe this is done by many other state agencies as well, so this wasn't just dreamed up out the blue either.
Ike April 22, 2013 at 10:40 PM
i SAY IF YOU CAN GET IT ,get it .. THATS WHY THERE ARE NO GOOD JOBS ANYMORE.... you are suppose to go up ,, not down in pay and bennies.... NOW A DAYS ,, THEY THIN $10 AN HR IS GOOD PAY .... DIDNT ANY HEAR OBAMAMA ??? HE WANTS TO RAISE THE M. WAGE .. WHAT DID HE SAY .. OHH $ 9 , NOW PEEPS CAN REALLY LIVE LARGE ,, GET OUT OF POVERTY.. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.... COACH BILL... TELL THEM TO KICK IT WHERE THE SUN DONT SHINE!!!!....... I BET YOU COULD FIND A BETTER JOB ,, WHERE YOU WINT BE TAKEN GRANTED FOR....... SCHOOL BOARD ,, YALLL ARE ,,WELLL IN BETTER WORDS ... SUCK!
Ike April 22, 2013 at 10:42 PM
oH REALLY ,,, THAT GREAT PAY???????? ,, YEA OK , RIGHT ?????... OBAMAMA GIVE THEM PEEPS MORE THAT THAT ON WELFARE, WITH ALL THE BENNIES,, NOW THAT THE ROLLS ROYCE OF INSURNCE.......
harry finster April 23, 2013 at 01:38 AM
ha ha ha phoenixville a dying town ,the only good jobs are state jobs ie teaching ,the teachers whine when they should be happy they get paid a lot more than the median with benefits the private sector has lost. i remember one idiot gym teacher "you guys all want to marry virgins when you grow up" was this italian catholic indoctrination ? mr gichino i always thought the gym teachers where the lowest rung in a low school how does lowlife phoenixville honor the bottom rung they put him on the wall of fame when he should be on the wall of shame
harry finster April 23, 2013 at 01:41 AM
http://www.scribd.com/doc/55863184/phoenixville2p
Wendy April 23, 2013 at 02:55 AM
IF the only outstanding issue is spousal insurance then anyone who disagrees with it need to resign & get a reality check. You had a platinum contract that had no substance to stay current on techniques to educate.
harry finster April 23, 2013 at 04:07 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22258940 a good canidate for phoenixville
Joe Smith April 23, 2013 at 09:58 AM
the entire school district should be on the wall of shame, along with an x principal from the 70s and a few gym teachers also. they should have been locked up
Abby April 23, 2013 at 02:14 PM
I'd pay higher taxes to give teachers a raise. Why? It's simple. You pay crappy wages, you get crappy employees. I want teachers that are paid what they're worth, that earn a good living, not a decent one. I want my kids taught by people with passion, not disgruntled underpaid people barely able to make ends meet. I want my kids to learn that 55k is not great pay for decades of service.
FEDERAL April 23, 2013 at 02:52 PM
I MUST LAUGH WHEN I READ THISES COMMENTS....IF YOU DON'T MAKE ALOT OF MONEY OR ONLY GET 2 WEEKS VACATION OR HAVE CRAPPY BENNIES.... THATS YOUR FAULT... NOT THE TEACHERS... OR MAYBE YOU BECOME ONE !!!!.... GRATITUDE ? WHO ARE U THANKING FOR YOUR CRAPPY JOB???!!!
FEDERAL April 23, 2013 at 02:53 PM
What a great reply..... so true.............
harry finster April 23, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Fafa Bretz recommends the historical Foundry Building as one of the best venues for events such as parties, weddings & business gatherings. http://www.phoenixvillefoundry.com/weddings.php
harry finster April 23, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Patti Bretz recommends the Phoenixville Farmers Market which has been voted one of the best farmers markets that hosts many local vendors and live music. http://www.phoenixvillefarmersmarket.org/
carol April 23, 2013 at 05:02 PM
This a disgrace no wonder the youth of today get in trouble. Gym is sometimes the only real exercise the kids get with all the technology. As for the coach sports is a big part of school spirit. Just because you don't play sports you are still apart of it. You get what you pay for. Phoenixville School District has come along way and if you are a homeowner this raises the value of your house.
harry finster April 23, 2013 at 06:22 PM
One could always pay more taxes at the end of the year if that's really what you want to do to show your support. No one would stop you from offering to pay more taxes. Just for the record I am on the side of teachers making whatever they are worth but we just can't increase taxes every time teachers need a raise. The school has to tighten their belts and cut programs or cut any undo spending. That's how businesses operate. That should always be the first option.
Obama Remorse April 23, 2013 at 07:28 PM
I want my kids to learn that you shouldn't expect to make more than 55k by just putting in decades of service, but by doing your job with passion and excellence, and being measured against peers and demonstrating to have more value. I want my kids to learn you don't get to make more than 55k by showing up to meetings with black shirts and throwing tantrums and threats until you get your way. I want my kids to learn that you don't get to make more than 55k by putting your future in the hands of a collective and depending on government, but rather standing on your own merits and craft.
Area Patch Reader April 23, 2013 at 08:12 PM
Ok looney, let's say I agree with you that gym is an important outlet for the kids and should not be cut. Can you seriously justify paying someone 70K plus full benefits to "teach" it, especially in these tough economic times? Why not take my earlier suggestion of cutting "gym" teachers altogether (most at he high school level are hired more as coaches, not teachers anyway - Bill Furlong is a perfect example) and instead pay the EXISTING teachers of the real subjects (math, science, English, social studies, etc...) extra to cover gym during their free period or better yet hire a part time gym teacher? Do we really need one or more there all day? This isn't about cutting all teachers salaries (many of whom deserve more), it's about cutting GYM teachers salaries. No offense but these people have little to no impact on learning the things our kids need to get into college and/or a job. You people really need to stop comparing apples to grapes. If resources are scarce, I want them going to the math teachers, the science teachers, not the football coach/gym teacher. This is what this is really about.
Area Patch Reader April 23, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Abby, if we were talking about a math teacher, science teacher, etc...I would agree. We are talking about "teachers" that basically play games all day long. Do they really deserve 70K a year. The only reason Furlong gets that much is to coach the football team and their are rules about how much they can pay coaches so they use loop holes to pay them higher salaries in roles like gym teacher. Didn't Phoenixville has have a full time internal suspension "teacher" that also served as a coach? When times are tough, you need to cut the dead weight and when it comes to education, I would rather see the money put into real subjects and have part time gym teachers. Even a "crappy" gym teacher can't really do much damage compared to a bad math or science teacher which can turn a kid off for life from learning vital skills. Get your priorities straight!
Muffins April 24, 2013 at 03:43 PM
I can understand that the teachers would like raises like most of us. But, in this economy, you should be fortunate to have a job and benefits. If their salaries and benefits are maintained, it is preferable to being unemployed and uninsured.
Hey Jude April 24, 2013 at 10:58 PM
The P.E. teachers do more than pass out soccker balls. They are part of a holistic approach to education that links the mind and body and raises self esteem while promoting healthy living. I, a taxpayer, do not have a problem paying for that. The issues of year round salary and expenditures on some projects are other matters but they certainly are related to the current financial picture. In short, there are problems but I haven't seen where the PE instructors are the cause and the cure.
Hey Jude April 24, 2013 at 10:59 PM
*soccer balls
Area Patch Reader April 25, 2013 at 02:00 PM
OK, I'll give you that but the simple question is do they (Gym teachers) deserve to be paid 70+K a year plus top flight benefits for this? Should they be paid on the same scale as math, science, and English teachers? Which is harder to do. Teach a kid to jump rope or the rules of soccer or teach a kid to read and do math? Which will help that child more down the line?
Joe Smith April 25, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Abby, we all expect you to send in some money to the government school system.
Joe Smith April 25, 2013 at 02:17 PM
they are at the lowest rung of the ladder.....right down there with scum
Obama Remorse April 26, 2013 at 02:48 PM
LOL! What gym classes have you been going to? OK, admittedly, I have not been in a high school gym class in several years - maybe they are now doing "holistic" stuff and singing Kumbaya, etc. From what I experienced in gym class... there was no "holistic mind and body" experience and no raising of "self esteem" (usually the opposite for some kids). It went like this: 10 minutes to change into gym clothes, 10 minutes to take roll, 20 minutes of some game we could barely get started like indoor whiffle ball, then 10 minutes to change again - and possibly take a shower, even though you barely broke a sweat in 20 minutes of "activity".
Ike April 27, 2013 at 08:12 AM
BETTER NOT TEL OBAMAMA BABIY MAMA..,,, YALL KNOW WHAT SHE THINKS ABOUT OBESE KIDS!... MY LORD , SHE WILL PUT THEM ALL ON THE CABBGE DIET............. Wonder why this COUNTRY WIL SO MESSED UP.
Mrs. S June 03, 2013 at 09:58 PM
a

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