Parkland Press

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Contract ratified by teachers, board

Thursday, February 7, 2019 by SUSAN RUMBLE Special to The Press in Local News

The Parkland School Board and the Parkland Education Association have reached agreement on a three-year contract from Sept. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2022.

The PEA represents 640 employees including teachers, nurses, guidance counselors and other professional staff.

PEA members ratified the agreement in a daytime vote on Jan. 22.

That evening, at the public meeting, the board approved the contract, with members Lisa Roth, Bob Bold, Carol Facchiano, David Kennedy, Marie Maritch, and Linda Perlman-McKenna voting in favor.

David Hein abstained, due to district employment of a family member. Rob Cohen and Jef Reyburn were absent.

Under the new agreement, the starting salary for a teacher with a Bachelor’s degree will be $55,241 in 2019-20.

A teacher with a Master’s degree and 30 credits will earn $70,455 in the 2019-20 term.

The document includes a 2.4-percent annual salary increase in years one and two, and a 2.5-percent increase in the third year.

Stipends for athletic coaches, department chairpersons, and student activity advisors will increase at the same percentages as the salaries each year.

Employees will continue to have a choice between two medical insurance programs.

Under one option, the contribution by the employee increases $300 for single coverage and $600 for multiple party coverage during the term of the contract.

An alternative plan with higher deductibles will increase $300 for single coverage and $480 per employee for multiple coverage over the three year term.

Superintendent Richard Sniscak commented on the agreement.

“Congratulations to PEA and the board,” Sniscak said. “We have great labor relations.

“Both parties acted professionally and collaboratively throughout the negotiation process.

The end result is a fair contract that is fiscally responsible while rewarding our employees for the skills and dedication to the important and varied roles they play within Parkland.”

Board President Lisa Roth also commented.

“We are so pleased to enter into an early bird agreement with our staff,” Roth said. “We value our amazing teachers and appreciate that our staff continues to recognize that increases to health care contributions are necessary for the district to handle the rising cost of medical insurance.

“We thank the PEA for being a partner in helping us to manage taxpayer funds responsibly and share in these rising nationwide costs.”

Sandi Gackenbach, PEA president, thanked the board for its continued support of Parkland’s educators and support professionals.

“The Parkland Education Association is grateful for the relationship it enjoys with its administration and board of directors,” Gackenbach said. “Negotiations can be challenging, but when both sides have a vested interest in the fiscal health of our district and the success of our students, it is comforting to know that we have a cooperative relationship that meets the needs of both sides.”