SASD teacher union to hold a community meeting Tuesday

Aug 25, 2008 Full story: The Reporter

Souderton Area School District teachers gathered outside three schools and the Harleysville YMCA Monday evening handing out information to parents regarding their union's position on the current negotiations ...

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PARENT

Brookhaven, PA

#1 Aug 26, 2008
Mr. Amuso,
As a long term resident of the Souderton Area School District I am vehemently opposed to the unfair and outrageous demands of the teachers union. Please see my comments below.
SALARY:
The teachers union seeks 9.5% each year for five years, nearly a 50% increase in salary. The School Board counter-offered with a salary increase of more than 2% per year, a figure that is consistent with the district's taxpayers' experience over the last three years.
The School Board's offer is more than fair. The increase should absolutely be no more than the cost of living. It is absolutely unheard of in Corporate America for an employee of any company or organization to seek a raise of 9.5% a year, let alone a 9.5% increase each and every year for the next five years. I would suggest that any teacher who thinks they can do better to go out in the real business world and see how their demands are met.
The School Board is proposing a performance-based pay plan - a true measure of accountability in the private sector. The teacher's union rejects this proposal.
This is outrageous that a group of employees would reject a pay plan that is based on performance. Again, let any teacher go out into the real business world and try to survive in any company or organization where they're not evaluated and measured on performance.
BENEFITS:
Teachers have received the same healthcare plan for the past 15 years, with no changes in co-pays, deductibles, or premium sharing. This is virtually unheard of. The School Board is trying to lessen the burden of this plan on taxpayers by offering two health insurance plan options: a core plan with a 4% contribution and a higher level plan with a 10% contribution.
The teachers should realize that they're been extremely lucky that their healthcare plan has not seen an increase in 15 years. It's a fact of life that health care costs and the associated premiums / fees are going to rise. Again, let any teacher go out into the real business world and demand multi- year healthcare coverage with no changes or increases. They won't find it.
However, the teachers union wants no increased contribution and, in fact, has proposed a plan which is even more costly than the current plan.
Please see the above.
TIME TO EDUCATE:
Understanding the critical importance of having teachers in the classroom in order to educate students, the School Board has proposed an 8-hour work day - common in the private sector. The teachers union, however, wishes to maintain a 7.5 hour work day.
A 7.5 hour day? How about the eight, nine, ten plus hour days that most people in the real business world work everyday? And that doesn't include weekends. To top it all off they have the entire summer off. There's no industry in the world that provides the practically part- time schedule teachers enjoy today.
More importantly, the teachers union also seeks 21 early dismissal days at the elementary school level and a general reduction in class coverage responsibilities.
What's the deal with wanting a general reduction in responsbilities? They should be given more responsibilities to ensure every child is well educated and can meet the demands of the real world once they graduate.
As you can probably tell I'm mad as hell that a group of individuals can make unheard of demands and hold thousands of parents and children hostage, and if those demands are not met will threaten to strike. The union should be abolished and any teacher who won't agree to work for fair wages and compensation should be released.
Sincerely,

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