- Story Ideas
- Send Corrections
The Avon Grove School Board is about to vote on a two-year contract with the teachers union, (AGEA). The negotiating team has done a good job over the past year negotiating with the AGEA. Now, suddenly, they want the school board to vote on the contract this week. All without allowing the Avon Grove School District (AGSD) taxpayers sufficient time to review, comment and question the new contract.
For some background on this issue, the current contract, which was signed in 2007 and ended in 2012, gave the teachers a pay raise of 4-5 percent every year plus the educational step increase that amounted to an additional 4.5%. Because the last five years contract was approved largely before the economic downturn, teachers have enjoyed economic prosperity while other Chester County taxpayers have not.
Under current law the expired contract stays in force (i.e. status quo) until a new contract is signed. The only difference is that teachers do not receive any pay raises during this time.
Presently, the AGEA has offered, in the new contract, less than one percent in savings in the growth of the cost of their teachers to the school district. For this they are asking that the taxpayer continue to collect their Union dues from the teachers for them. On top of that, they now want to add that the taxpayer also collects the union’s Political Action (PAC) donations from the teachers and the new “Fair Share” dues from the non-union teachers. The teachers that opted, for whatever reason, to not join the Union, will now be forced by this contract to pay Union dues. Avon Grove School District has never agreed to “Fair Share” before in the past and I see no reason why we should now. There are also numerous other changes that the taxpayers should be aware of.
So, why the sudden rush to pass a new contract after a year of negotiations before the taxpayers have had a chance to review what they are being forced to pay for? Our taxpayers should have at least 30 days after sufficient notice to review the contract and voice their opinion.
The new proposed AGEA contract is expected to be posted on the AGSD web site on Monday 2/25/2013. The public needs at least 30 days time before we vote on this contract. Neither this letter, nor the posting of the contract allows taxpayers sufficient time to review and comment on the proposed contract by Thursday. I request the board to postpone the vote and act quickly to inform the public so that we can move forward. Is this too much to ask?
If you have any questions, below is the link for contact information for the School Director in your area.
Avon Grove School Board member