School board, teachers accept contract
The new three-year contract expires in August 2020
The Downingtown School Board and union leaders reached an agreement on a three-year contract.
EAST CALN >> The Downingtown Area School District board members and the Downingtown Area Education Association on Thursday reached an early agreement on a new three-year contract.
The school board unanimously approved the agreement at a special board meeting on Thursday. The current contract expires on Aug. 31, 2017.
“Negotiating this new contract with the union leadership was a very positive experience,” said school board President Colleen Cranney. “Our board members and union leaders worked together as a team to reach this agreement. The new contract is both fair to our hard-working staff and fiscally responsible to our community.”
The board’s vote followed the 900-member union ratifying the tentative agreement on Tuesday. The Downingtown Area Education Association (DAEA) represents the district’s teachers, guidance counselors, librarians and nurses. DAEA is affiliated with the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA).
“We were able to work collectively to improve our contract in ways that continue to maintain and enhance standards that attract the best and brightest educators to our district,” said DAEA President Craig D. Krusen. “This sustains the legacy that our current and past educators have established. Our team is very pleased to have been able to work cooperatively with the board to reach a collective bargaining agreement that creates a stronger school district that benefits our entire community.”
Teachers will get an average annual pay increase of 2.64 percent under the contract running from Sept. 1, 2017 through Aug. 31, 2020. Teachers will pay more toward health care premiums, paying 11 percent toward health care for the length of the contract, according to the school district. Under the current two-year contract, teachers received a salary increase of 2.9 percent and had slightly increased employee contributions toward health care.
Downingtown schools Superintendent Lawrence Mussoline said the district’s most valuable asset is the people because of their dedication.
“Both sides share the same deep commitment to providing our children with the best education possible,” Mussoline said. “Coming to an early, successful conclusion is something everyone in our district should applaud.”
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From left: Downingtown Area School District school board Vice President Carl Croft, Downingtown Area Education Association (DAEA) President Craig Krusen, DAEA Elementary Vice President Lauren Bold, school board President Colleen Cranney, and DAEA secondary Vice President Gary Gittis pose together after the two groups reached an early agreement on a new three-year contract.