Arbitration Panel Settles Teacher Salary Dispute
Saturday, April, 12, 2014
An arbitration board convened to settle a dispute between the Shaler, Pennsylvania School District and the teacher’s union has determined that the School District’s plan for handling salary raises and other issues with the teachers in the Shaler Area School District is the superior one. The arbitration panel was convened after a week-long strike in September 2013 that saw the union win concessions on non-salary issues such as health care contributions and workload.
The union and district’s proposals were close in some areas, with the main differences being in the distribution of pay raises. The union’s plan favored a more equitable distribution, giving smaller raises to more experienced teachers, while the district sought to reward teachers at higher scales.
Following standard arbitration procedure, the union and the district each chose one of the panel members, and then agreed on a third “impartial” member. By choosing the district’s plan, the end result is that most teachers will see a pay raise of about $200 a year through the 2015-2016 school year. The salary increases will be weighted for seniority, so more experienced teachers will receive greater increases. This is the first new contract for Shaler teachers since 2011, and negotiations for a new contract to take effect after 2016 must begin shortly.