Salary Schedule Holding Up Raises For Abington Heights Teachers
A disagreement in a salary schedule has kept Abington Heights teachers from receiving overdue raises negotiated after almost a year of contentious labor strife in the district.
When the district agreed to teacher raises after settling a contract in June, union leaders took the total amount of additional money and distributed it on the salary schedule as they saw fit. Union leaders were hoping to give higher raises to higher-step teachers, said Tim Moher, Abington Heights Education Association president. Step is based on years of service and education.
The district did not agree to the new salary scales.
“We’re trying to make sure we do a good job in distributing the dollars ... in a way that’s fair to both union and the school district,” said Superintendent Michael Mahon, Ph.D.
When the contract was ratified, the union — which includes teachers, counselors and nurses — ratified a salary schedule and the district ratified a raise percentage, Moher added.
The education association has been going back and forth with the district to come to an agreement on a salary schedule.
“We understand we need to come to some kind of solution,” said Moher.
Union leadership was scheduled to meet this week with Pennsylvania State Education Association representatives to discuss the issue. Efforts to reach Moher after the meeting were unsuccessful.
The union and the district are cooperating with each other and working amicably to solve the issue, both Moher and Mahon said.
After an eight-day strike in September 2017, the five-year contract was ratified in June. The contract expires Aug. 31, 2022. The raises start at 2 percent and are retroactive to the 2017-18 school year. The increases end at 3 percent in both the fourth and final years of the contract. Abington Heights teachers are also contributing to health care premiums for the first time in the district’s history.
At this point, the teachers have not received any raises negotiated in the contract. Mahon said once the issue is resolved, the pay will be retroactive.
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