The long running CBA negotiations between the Phoenixville Area School District and its teachers union may resume on Feb. 26, as the district has accepted a meeting date recommended by a state mediator assigned to the case. It’s not clear if union representatives will attend.
The teacher’s previous contract expired in June of 2010. Negotiations for a new deal began over three years ago.
District representatives last met with the PAEA (Phoenixville Area Education Association) negotiating team on January 23. During the meeting the union made an initial proposal that was countered by the district, and ultimately rejected by the union.
According to a statement PASD released to some members of the media, the differences between the two camps don't appear to be substantial:
The District reduced the proposed percentage of healthcare costs to match the percentages proposed by PAEA, however the District still proposes that the members pay a percentage of all healthcare costs, including dental, vision, and prescription while PAEA proposes to limit the payment to a percentage of medical costs only. Paying a percentage of all healthcare rather than medical only would save the District approximately $71,500 per year.
The District also continues to propose that members pay a yearly deductible, however the District reduced the proposed amount of the deductible by $250 in the fourth year of the contract. The District’s deductible proposal would generate approximately $189,000 in total savings to the taxpayers in the third and fourth years of the contract, but more importantly, deductibles incentivize members to use medical services only when necessary, which also reduces the cost to the taxpayers.
The District also continues to propose that spouses who can obtain coverage through their own employers be required to do so. If the PAEA accepts the District’s spousal proposal, the cost savings to PASD would be the rough equivalent of a 1.2% tax reduction to the taxpayers, assuming that everything else stayed the same.
Lastly, the District stated that it could accept the PAEA’s proposal to reduce the teachers’ work year by two days if the PAEA agreed to extend the workday by 20 minutes per day. This would accommodate the PAEA’s desire for increased non-instructional time during the work day and offset the reduced number of work days.
A comparison of the parties’ latest offers is available on the PASD website, as is a copy of the Fact Finder’s Report and Recommendations, which the district accepted on November 12.
Previous reporting on the CBA negotiations:
- 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