Pattye Benson

Community Matters

North Penn, Montgomery County Teachers Set to Strike Monday . . . Could this be a sign of the times?

Many of the area school districts are in their final discussions for the 2010-11 budget, include Tredyffrin Easttown School District. As the school year is starting to wind down, there is news that the North Penn teacher’s union in Montgomery County has made the decision to strike starting at 7 AM this Monday. North Penn School District is a large sprawling district with over 13,000 students. Are the actions of the North Penn School District’s teachers a sign of the times?

If I understand the teacher union’s case correctly, the teachers told the North Penn school board what they were willing to accept in the contract negotiations. However, the school board voted unanimously to reject an arbitration award from the arbitration panel mediating between the district and the teachers.

The teacher union and the school board put a spin on the proposed contract differently. The teachers union report that their proposal included a $43.4 million salary increase, 23.5% annual payroll increase over the next five years of the contract. According to the school board, the proposed teacher contract ignored the fact that the proposed teacher’s contract would increase the current district budget by over 17.3% and as a result require residents to pay an approximate 25.4% increase in property taxes over the five years of the contract. The teacher union is disputing these tax hike numbers presented by the school board. North Penn union president Alan Malachowski argued, “The salary increase in the first year was a 0, which our teachers overwhelmingly said was OK, and beyond that were yearly increases of 2.5, 2.5, 2.8 and 2.8 percent, very modest salary increases that they know they can afford.”

For comparison sake, the current North Penn salary schedules for 2009-10 starts at $42,870 and ends at a maximum salary of $93,948 (the same as in the base year of 2008-09). The proposed increase allows for a starting salary of $49,518 to maximum salary of $104,410 in 2013-14. How do North Penn’s teachers salaries compare to T/E School District?


From our own school district . . . the TESD Finance Committee Meeting is scheduled for this Monday, April 19, 7:30 PM at Conestoga High School auditorium. Here is the Finance Committee Meeting agenda— interesting to note that the Earned Income Tax (EIT) is listed as an agenda item.

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