Compensation Offer Update PEA PPEA

Dear Staff, 

I want to continue to update you regarding our efforts. Earlier today we made another offer to PEA and an offer to PPEA, in an attempt to resolve the dispute and head off a strike by teachers and paraprofessionals. The terms of our offer were:

PEA:

  • a one-time stipend equal to 2% of salary (or $1,000 each) for all teachers to be paid in June 2018;
  • a COLA of 2.25% applied and paid beginning in September 2018;
  • step and lane movement on the salary schedule effective in September 2018;
  • an additional $50 per month towards the cost of health insurance beginning in September 2018, bringing the District’s total contribution to $520 per month for all teachers; and
  • an MOU developed by mutual agreement with PEA to implement the terms and conditions of the four-day week adopted by the Board.

PPEA:

  • Steps for 2017-18
  • Steps for 2018-19
  • 2.25% COLA
  • Additional $30.00 per month towards health insurance beginning in Sept. 2018

PEA rejected our offer and made it clear that a strike would begin on Monday, May 7 unless their demand for a 2% COLA retroactive to the beginning of the 2017-18 school year was met. PPEA also rejected the offer. 

The District’s position has been consistent and clear from the beginning – there were not then and are not now sufficient funds in the 2017-18 budget from which to meet the demand for a COLA. A COLA is a recurring expense, meaning once it is paid it becomes part of base salary and must be paid in every subsequent year of employment. A 2% COLA for teachers costs approximately $1.2 million annually.

While money, or the lack thereof, is at the heart of this dispute, there is no dispute that teachers are the District’s most valuable asset and that in a perfect world, they would be paid far more than they currently earn. 

The District depends on the state legislature for most of its funding, and because of legislative maneuvering to avoid the funding mandates of Amendment 23, the District has received almost $150 million less in funding than it should have over the last 8 years. Most of that lost funding belongs to our teachers, but we cannot replace these funds. This loss of funding from the state has put a substantial strain on our budget.

It was my true hope that this offer could have moved us forward. We are at a crossroads. We must and we will move forward to educate the children of this District. We implore PEA and our hard-working teachers to work with us. The offer we put in front of you today is the absolute best that we can do to settle 2017-18 and represents our best compensation package for 2018-19. We ask that you consider it carefully. This offer still stands. 

Sincerely, 

Charlotte Macaluso
Superintendent
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