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Possible Strike By Teachers In Perkiomen Valley School District

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Negotiations continue as a central Montgomery County school district tries to avoid a teachers’ strike.

Teachers in the Perkiomen Valley School District could be on the picket line as early as Tuesday if a deal isn’t reached by Monday night.

The Perkiomen Valley Education Association gave a 48-hour strike notice Friday.

Union officials and school district officials say they’re continuing negotiations this weekend at an undisclosed location.

Jeffery Sultanik is the lawyer representing the school board in negotiations. He talks about the sticking points, “…salary, health care benefits, tuition reimbursements and a few other issues.”

Teachers in the 5,900 student district have been working without a contract since the beginning of the school year.

Read More: Work Stoppage Letter to Parents – FINAL

Reported By John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio.

Top Content On CBSPhilly

  • Leza Raffel



    Collegeville, PA – (February 27, 2011) – Following over five hours of intensive negotiations, the Perkiomen Valley School Board is pleased to announce that it has reached a tentative agreement with the Perkiomen Valley Education Association, the union which represents the District’s teachers.

    The agreement now awaits ratification by the Perkiomen Valley Education Association on the week of March 7, and the School Board on March 14. No details on the terms of the agreement will be shared until ratification occurs.

    The agreement came on the brink of a work stoppage that was slated to commence on March 1. “We are pleased that both parties were able to negotiate an agreement without disrupting educational programs in the District,” stressed Lynn Bigelow, President of the School Board.

  • Greg

    I do live there and have 3 kids there. I’ve read the fact finder’s report and watched what I saw as exceptionally professional behavior by the teachers throughout orientations and this year during negtiations. Nothing like the stupidity up in Pennsbury that’s also made news.

    However, what the PV union is asking for relative to the fact finder’s report is simply not worth striking for. Not when unemployment is where it’s at (>9%), not when underemployment is >15%. If the fact finder said we were one of the highest educational taxed disticts in the area and can’t pass along much more in taxation, and he did, then that’s it.

    So let’s have a strike over about $1k a year in salary, wanting to work 2-3 less days a year (as if summer isn’t enough) rather than a couple more and be happy that you have a job when 1 in 10 do not, and stick our heads in the sand that they shouldn’t have to eat the rising cost of health deductibles like the rest of us.

    And no, none of them are making $100k as a teacher. But they have time to suppliment during the summer …yeah they can clear over $100k.

    It’s a terrific district with talented teachers…the majority of whom I feel lack the perspective to sense a good deal when they see it (given the broader economy in which we currently are in).

    • baye72

      Greg, Do you condone the school board giving increases to the administrators as well as the benefit package they receive in these “tough economic times” as well? I mean really, the Administrators receive a $500 medical expense reimbursement that covers the $400 family deductible limit plus leaves them $100 for other expenses. Tell me that isn’t something that could have been eliminated to save the District money in the budget.

      The real issue at hand was the disparity in how they treat the Administrators vs. how they treat the teachers. I said before, if they had told the Administrators, sorry no increases and cuts to your benefits, and the Teachers were still expecting more, then I would think the teachers were being unreasonable, however, that is not the case and that is why I find fault with how the School Board has handled the situation. A district in financial trouble, must pass the cuts to ALL who work there, not just one group.

  • enough

    even though these teachers do not make a 6 figure salary they still make a decent living. Their benefits are practically for free and they complain that they will have to make a co-payment!!! Well join the rest of the world. We all make co payments and contribute lots of our money to insurance every month. As for continuing education reimbursement???? That is an added perk. Most companies out there make you pay at least part of the tuition for any additional education you receive. These teachers have guaranteed raises every year!!! Yet they are still complaining and want more. You get what you pay for??? We get rid of the tenured teachers who do not feel like working anymore and bring in some fresh eager graduates and save some money. Just because you’ve been a teacher “forever” doesn’t make you a good one. Teachers live in some sort of fantasy world. They do not even work a full year!!! Greedy greedy greedy

  • Thomas

    Pass the popcorn. This ought to be good entertainment. Hoping they all get the Rhode Island treatment.

    • baye72

      Since the others don’t want to answer, maybe you will Thomas. Do you live in the District, have kids in the District?

      • Guess Who

        Yes, I do. Why should I pay high taxes to support their six-figure salaries for nine months of work? Should kindergarten or gym teachers make that?

      • baye72

        @Guess Who…Where are you getting your information? Not a single teacher in the district is earning a six figure income. Now the Administrators, well, that’s a different story. And now you talk about HIGH taxes, we pay some of the LOWEST taxes in the region (a fact pointed out by EVERY Real Estate agent selling a home in this district). And speaking of home values, what helps our home values is that we are one of the TOP rated school districts int he state (ranked 37th out of over 575 districts). Now, if the District want to claim poor, then answer me this, WHY did the Administrators get a raise in June of last year? Why did the TOP wage earners in the district (who have no contact with the kids, yet earn most of those 6 figure salary’s you complain about) get paid MORE?

        And as to your question about Kindergarten teachers earning 6 figure salary’s, I have a child in Kindergarten this year and given this teacher’s longevity in the District she is probably one of the top earners as to the teachers salary. I also have helped out in the classroom and witnessed first hand how much ALL the kids have learned since the beginning of the year and she is worth EVERY penny they pay her.

        My husband (an HR professional, so you can imagine his thoughts on unions in general) likes using the line “You get what you pay for”. If we get cheap teachers, we will ultimately be lowering the standards in the District, which in turn lowers our ranking, which in turn lowers our property values. It is a domino effect.

        Now, if the school Board had negotiated NO raises and reduced benefits for ALL who work in the District, then I would feel differently. But that is NOT what the School Board did.

  • baye72

    Just curious, do any of you (Guess Who, Stinger, Your Boss) actually LIVE and have children in the Perkiomen Valley School District? Do any of you actually know the details of what is going on? Or is the sole basis for your comments the few sentences you have read here?

  • Your Boss

    Well said, Stinger. Well said.

  • stinger

    I second that. The gravy train is over. If you don’t like your job go find another one.

  • Guess Who

    I have a counter-offer: Go on strike and be fired. Their replacements would be far cheaper.

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