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Tyrone Area School Board officially approves teachers’ contract

The Tyrone Area School Board held its regular session meeting last evening and officially approved the professional teacher contract between the Tyrone Area Education Association and the Tyrone Area School District, covering the three-year period of July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2010.
School board members voted unanimously in favor of the new contract 8-0, with board member Peter Dutrow absent from the meeting.
On September 4, the school board and the union accepted the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board fact-finder\’s report, by Robert C. Gifford. Teachers reportedly voted 60-55 in favor, the board 9-0. It recommended a 21-year step system that would increase starting salaries each year, from last year\’s $32,000 to $34,586 in the 2009-10 school year. Top salary for a teacher with a bachelor\’s degree will be increased each year, from the current $59,244 to $63,586 in 2009-10.
TASD superintendent Dr. William Miller was pleased to have a contract for the next three years.
\”We feel it\’s a very fair, impartial decision of the fact-finder, which the school board accepted in total, and that creates a positive climate for the school,\” added Miller.
Through the negotiating process, the major dispute between the district and the 144 members of its teachers’ union was due to how many years it would take for a teacher to reach maximum salary. According to the union, the district\’s former scale hit max salary at 41 years and the district\’s estimation was 36 years.
The teachers’ union believed the pay scale lagged behind neighboring school districts when salary was calculated over the course of a career.
Tyrone Area Education Association chief negotiator and TASD English department chair Steve Everhart appreciated the generosity of the school board. He said that the raises were better than in past years, and of course, he was pleased about that.
\”We are grateful for the contract, and we hope the school board continues to recognize the quality of work the teachers do in the future,\” added Everhart.
Board member and school district chief negotiator Amy Stever felt the board made the first step in a process that takes some time, and as time moves forward, she believes everyone can continue on with that progress.
Stever said, \”It\’s not a quick process. It\’s definitely well thought out, well planned, well discussed, and therefore both sides get the opportunity to really weigh what\’s right, or what\’s the best opportunity and best plan for the students. The students were the ones that both sides kept their eyes on.\”
\”I think the town should be very pleased with the teachers and our response,\” added Stever.
In other business, an HVAC study review was presented to the board by Don Goodman of Hayes Large Architects, and the board approved the Hollidaysburg Area YMCA to utilize the high school swimming pool during the 2007-08 school year at no cost to the YMCA.
PSSA test results were also presented by the building principals, and The Daily Herald will publish those results and comparisons in the near future.