Greencastle-Antrim teachers’ contract expired Sunday

— By PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

Teachers and administrators in the Greencastle-Antrim School District are working without a contract.

While the latest three year contract of superintendent Greg Hoover was approved at the Aug. 21 school board meeting, the rest of the administration has to wait.

Ten people are covered under Act 93, and their previous agreement was valid from July 2012 to June 2014.

The contract for the teachers’ union, Greencastle-Antrim Education Association, expired on Sunday, Aug. 31.

Administrators are included in the Act 93 compensation plan because they are not part of a collective bargaining unit, and they are below the rank of superintendent.

Administrators

Hoover’s agreement with G-ASD covers the time period of Aug. 16, 2014 to June 30, 2017. It was adopted unanimously by board members Melinda Cordell, Tracy Baer, Ken Haines, Jim Winslow, Linda Farley, Mike Still and Eric Holtzman. Brian Hissong and Lura Hanks were absent.

Hoover had no raise in 2011-12, two percent salary increases the past two years and no raise for this year, leaving him at $125,477. During the balance of the contract the school board will consider any adjustments.

The administration talks have taken a back seat to faculty negotiations, but is not raising any level of concern from the principals, assistant principals and a director.

“Our emphasis has been on the budget, Hold Harmless and teacher contracts,” said Hoover. “The administrators do not expect a raise, so there is no hurry.”

In 2011-12 the educational leaders were given no raise, then two percent the following year. In 2013-14 salaries went up the same amount overall, but the administrators divided a pool of money amongst themselves, so the share varied per person.

Teachers’ negotiations

G-AEA is covered by a June 2, 2011 Memorandum of Understanding, which replaced the final year of a five-year collective bargaining agreement in regard to salary. It added two more years to the contract, and increased the employee contribution toward health insurance premiums to seven percent in 2012-13, and eight percent in 2013-14.

The teachers agreed to no raise in 2011-12, and two percent raises each of the next two years.

The parties have been in discussion since January, when they met with a state mediator, as required by law. The school board team is led by Tracy Baer, with Eric Holtzman, Linda Farley, Jim Winslow, Lura Hanks and Mike Still also attending the sessions. Winslow is stepping down since his wife was hired Aug. 21 as a long-term substitute teacher.

G-AEA is represented by the executive committee, which consists of president Jill Gilbert, vice president Brandon Solomon, president-elect John Root, treasurer Kris Shreffler and secretary Mary Lou Pool. Two representatives from each of the buildings also participate.

The meetings, usually held twice a month, continue.

“Negotiations are ongoing,” said Hoover. “We made little language changes. It’s the big stuff, like salary and insurance, that slows the process.”

Gilbert said the lack of a contract is not a concern by the staff.

“I have high expectations that we will be able to work it out as soon as possible, and have a working contract,” she said.

She credited both sides with working closely together, and working well together.

“There are some steps to go,” she concluded.