Teachers’ Contract OK’d In Phoenixville Will Give 2.5% Raises

PHOENIXVILLE, PA — An agreement between teachers and the Phoenixville Area School District was approved Monday night in a 7-1 vote with mutual thanks for cooperation.

At its Nov. 30, board meeting the Phoenixville Area School District Board of School Directors approved a three-year contract with the Phoenixville Area Education Association (PAEA) who represented the district’s teachers.

The PAEA teacher’s association voted to approve the terms of the contract just before Monday’s school board meeting. The parties had agreed on the contents of contract last week and expected it to pass in the board’s Nov. 30 vote.

The sole dissenting vote in Monday’s PASD board of directors meeting came from board member Dr. Ayisha Serini.

The current contract expires on June 30, 2021. The new contract begins July 1, 2021 and ends June 3o, 2024.

The approved contract includes a 2.5 percent pay increase for each of the three years, while maintaining important components of the healthcare plan that is in place. The contract eliminates or reduces some to the “opt-out” payments teachers have received when they or an eligible spouse were not using the district’s offered healthcare coverage.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of those involved in working to negotiate this contract,” said Jeesely Soto, Vice President of the Phoenixville Area School District Board and lead negotiator with the teacher’s association.

“Both sides came to the table ready to work together for the benefit of the district, our teachers, students, families, and the Phoenixville community. I appreciate the continued level of respect and professionalism displayed by all involved in this process. I think we all recognize that this pandemic has been challenging and difficult for our community. Through this all, our teachers continue to rise above and beyond. The end result reflects our high regard for our teachers as well as our commitment to our taxpayers,” Soto said.

Tammy Kurtz, President of the PAEA stated, “On behalf of the Phoenixville Area Education Association, I would like to thank the board for voting to approve the PAEA Contract. The Early Bird negotiation process was successful due to the positive mindset and motivation on both sides to find a compromise for a fair and equitable contract. The ratification of this three-year contract allows us all to keep our focus centered on educating the students of Phoenixville during this especially challenging time.”

The negotiation team for the PAEA included: Michael Donnelly, Chief Negotiator; Erik Rutchauskas; Mary Pat McLaughlin, Garret Gianni, and Lauren Figueroa, and Tammy Kurtz, President PAEA.

The PASD school board negotiating team members included: Jeesely Soto, Chief Negotiator; Michelle Schamis; Susan Turner; Blake Emmanuel, President; and David Golberg.

Administrators working with the school board were: Dr. Alan Fegley, Superintendent; Dr. Jeremy Melber, Business Manager; and Sylvia Rockwood, Director of Human Resources.

The district said when the final contract document is completed, it will be posted on the PASD website in its entirety.

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