Cranberry Area School Board Responds to Association’s Strike Notice; Expresses Shock, Disappointment

| May 17, 2018

SENECA, Pa. (EYT) – In response to Cranberry Education Association’s strike notice delivered last week, the school board issued a statement on the current state of negotiations.

The Cranberry Area School Board has given a breakdown of its position, explaining that since early 2017, “the bargaining team has engaged diligently in the negotiation process with the Cranberry Area Education Association.”

In addition, they have met with the association “nearly two dozen times…to reach a fair, equitable, and reasonable contract.”

According to the school board’s release, “the District and the Association mutually agreed to continue negotiations and meet at their next session on May 30, 2018.”

The release continued to state that “the District was shocked and disappointed to learn that the Association issued a strike notice on May 11, 2018.”

In the notice, the Association stated that “unless a contract agreement is reached before May 23, 2018, it would go on strike.”

Given the Association’s strike notice, the District stated that it believes it is important to provide the community with factual information about both the teachers’ current wages and benefits under the old contract, as well as wages and benefits proposed by the District for the new contract:

Current Economic Facts:

– Starting salary: Bachelor’s degree: $44,710.00 (Top step salary $66,673)
– Master’s degree: $47,966.00 (Top step salary $70,179)

– Average teacher salary: $60,776.00

– Work days per year: 184 days

– Average annual District cost per employee for health insurance: $15,250.00

Proposed Wages and Benefits

The following information represents details of wages and benefits contained in the District’s most recent proposal:

– A Four Year Collective Bargaining Agreement

– Salary increases of 2% to 2.5% for each of the four years of the agreement. (This equates to an average annual increase of $192,875.75 to the annual budget.)

Monthly Health Care Contributions:

– Year 1 $55.00 individual $70.00 family (Current Contribution Rate)
– Year 2 $55.00 individual $70.00 family (Current Contribution Rate)
– Year 3 $60.00 individual $75.00 family
– Year 4 $70.00 individual $85.00 family

Yearly Deductibles for Medical Coverage:

– Year 1 $300.00 individual $600.000 family (Current Deductible Rate)
– Year 2 $400.00 individual $800.00 family
– Year 3 $400.00 individual $800.00 family
– Year 4 $500.00 individual $1,000.00 family

The board “remains ready and willing to negotiate a fair, equitable, and reasonable contract and look forward to meeting with the CEA on May 30 in hopes of accomplishing that goal,” according to the press release.

On Thursday, May 10 – after a nearly unanimous vote on Thursday – the Cranberry Education Association (CEA), which represents 96 teachers, nurses, counselors, and education professionals employed by the Cranberry Area School District, delivered a strike notice to the school board on Friday, May 11.

According to the CEA release, the Board’s negotiations team refused to make a move on wage increases despite concessions from teachers on healthcare and other issues. Other issues include a declaration that the Board would not negotiate over the summer and a “perceived threat” that retroactivity could be withdrawn if an agreement isn’t reached by May 30.

View Cranberry Area School Board’s press release in its entirety here.

View Cranberry Education Association’s strike notice below:

(Click on the image for a larger version.)

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Category: Cranberry Area, Local News, News, Schools