The Parkland School District Board of School Directors and the Parkland Education Association (PEA) reached a two-year contract agreement when the Parkland School Board approved a new contract on August 26, 2014. The District’s teacher’s ratified the agreement earlier in the day. The agreement will be in effect from August 31, 2014 until August 31, 2016. The PEA represents approximately 640 members, including teachers, nurses, guidance counselors and other professional staff.
The contract includes a 2.25% salary increase in year one for members, inclusive of step movements. In year two of the agreement, members will again receive an overall 2.25% salary increase inclusive of step movement. Stipend salaries for coaches and clubs or activities advisors will also increase 2.25% each year.
Members will be given the option to continue the Classic Blue Indemnity Plan for one more year. Under that plan, members pay $744 per year for Single coverage or $2,028 per year for Family coverage. In the 2013-14 school year, members who chose the PPO6 plan instead of the Indemnity Plan described above, contributed $390 per year for Single coverage and $780 per year for Family coverage. In 2014, members will increase their payroll contributions for the PPO6 plan to $672 for Single coverage and $1,344 for Family coverage. In 2015-16, member contributions for the PPO6 plan increase to $840 per year for Single and $1,680 per year for Family coverage. A new PPO option will allow members to pay $0 per year for Single coverage and $120 per year for Family coverage and will include higher deductibles of $750 for Single coverage (up from $500 in the PPO6 plan) and $1,500 for Family coverage (up from $1,000 in the PPO6 plan) as well as higher employee copayments for services. Also new in the 2014-15 contract is the provision that allows employees to opt out of Parkland health insurance if they show proof of insurance from a spouse or parent. Employees who choose this option will be given a $1,500 stipend per year from Parkland to opt out of receiving health insurance. In the event that any health benefit plan offered by the District exceeds the threshold requirements for any excise tax associated with the Affordable Care Act, the District and Union agreed to share the cost equitably.
Other changes include the following:
- It will become mandatory in 2014-15 that all employees affected by the new agreement be paid via direct deposit which will save administrative, paper and processing costs.
- Teachers who receive National Board Certification will receive a one-time $3,500 stipend.
- A Worker’s Compensation Panel of Physicians was agreed upon.
Board President Roberta Marcus stated, “This contract is a fiscally responsible and fair agreement for everyone. Because of savings that the district will accrue in healthcare costs, we can ensure that we remain competitive with respect to teacher salaries in the Lehigh Valley, thus supporting our efforts to put the finest teachers possible in Parkland classrooms. We thank the PEA for being a partner in helping to overcome the educational funding crisis that persists in Pennsylvania and across the nation.”
Mr. Richard T. Sniscak, Superintendent, stated, “Both parties conducted themselves in a professional and collaborative manner throughout the negotiations process. The end result is a fair contract that is fiscally responsible, while rewarding our employees for their skills and dedication to the important and varied roles they play within Parkland. I commend the team for keeping the preservation of Parkland’s programs and services top of mind for the greater good of our community.”
Sandi Gackenbach, president of the Parkland Education Association, offered, “Our membership is pleased to have earned a fair contract that rewards staff for ongoing graduate study and professional improvement. We are pleased that we could work collaboratively and come to a reasonable settlement worthy of the reputation for excellence that Parkland enjoys.”