SCHOOLS Sharpsville teachers to receive pay raises in new pact

Teachers will have to pick up a larger share of health care costs.
SHARPSVILLE, Pa. -- Teachers in the Sharpsville Area School District will be getting average annual pay increases of 3.34 percent under terms of their new five-year contact.
The agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2003. The 82 teachers had worked the entire 2003-04 school year under an extension of their old agreement.
A new contract was approved by the school board Aug. 16 and ratified by teachers Thursday.
The average teacher salary was about $49,000 when negotiations began in January 2003 but has now slipped to the $46,000-$47,000 range because older, higher paid staff members have retired, replaced by younger teachers starting near the bottom of the pay scale.
Health-care costs
Teachers will be required to pick up a larger portion of their medical insurance costs. They were paying $15 per month and that will rise to $20 for the first year of the contract and $25 in the second year.
After that, the teacher contribution will increase or decrease in direct proportion with the percentage of the district's increase or decrease in insurance premium cost.
A joint news release issued by the school board and the Sharpsville Area Education Association said the contract also:
UChanges the way personal sick leave days are earned and accumulated.
UGives extra-curricular, coaching, club and other supplemental positions an average annual increase of 3.34 percent.
URaises the tuition reimbursement rate for teachers furthering their education from $100 per credit with a maximum of six credits to $240 per credit with a maximum of six credits.
UIncreases major medical deductibles that teachers must pay.
UCreates a labor-management council that will meet each month school is in session.

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