Thursday, July 9, 2015

7/6 - Negotiations Update - Fact Finding Process

Update on Contract Negotiations with the Unionville Chadds Ford Education Association (UCFEA)


The District Negotiations Team has continued to have regular and ongoing negotiations meetings with the Teachers Negotiations Team (Unionville Chadds Ford Education Association or UCFEA) regarding a new contract for our professional staff. The existing contract expired on June 30, 2015. While we are still trying to work out some specific differences in contract language, the primary areas of disagreement revolve around Salary and Benefits. The District's position is that the current proposal on the table from the UCFEA is at a total value well in excess of what is sustainable and financially viable.
In order to provide additional perspective on these issues as we pursue a fair and reasonable settlement, the District has notified the UCFEA of the intent to call for a Fact-Finding hearing as the next step in our negotiations process. We are hopeful that the hearing will take place quickly, and provide independent and non-binding information that can allow us to achieve a settled contract as soon as possible. The Fact-Finding process is a formalized hearing and analysis that is organized by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) and operated under PA School Code and other pertinent state law. Once completed, the UCFEA and the District will have the opportunity to review, and then approve or disapprove the results. If no contract is reached from the Fact Finding process, the Fact Finding Report is made public by the PLRB.
As always, we look forward to a swift, fair and reasonable settlement.

Vic Dupuis
Board President 
Unionville-Chadds Ford School District

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Board negotiations team response to UCFEA public comments

Much has happened in the time since the negotiations process was opened for public review.  The two parties continue to meet and there is a growing public awareness of the issues.

The Board wishes to clarify some points that have been made publicly by the UCFEA negotiating team and has developed a 3 part document for public review.


  • Part 1 of the document is a narrative of the Board negotiating team's position and perspective
  • Part 2 compares side by side and point by point the offers that are currently on the table
  • Part 3 is a response to public statements made by the UCFEA negotiating team

Here is a link to the document


Please share your thoughts - send them to ucfsdcommunications@ucfsd.net

Monday, April 20, 2015

4/20 - Teacher Salaries

Understanding how the Current Board Proposal Impacts Teacher Salaries



Issue:  

Are some teacher’s salaries frozen and is it true that the pay schedule has remained the same since 2012?


In recent comments, and on the UCFEA* Facebook page Scott Broomall (UCFEA* President), has asserted that top salaries and starting salaries have remained the same since 2012 and that by freezing top salaries UCFSD’s standing among local schools will plummet.  UCFEA has also stated that UCFSD is now paying less for professional salaries than it did in 2009-2010.


Response:
  1. The average annual increase among all teachers for the past 6 years has been 2.8%.  
    1. 70% of our teachers (those not on step 16) have averaged 3.6% annually.
    2. 30% of our teachers (largely those on step 16) have averaged .9% annually.
  2. The current offer addresses starting and top salaries that have remained the same since 2012.
    1. Starting salaries will be raised from $48,520 to $49,520.
    2. Top salaries (at step level 16) will rise from $102,741 to $104,741.
    3. Teachers going from step 15 to step 16 will realize a 4.8% or better pay raise.
    4. The current top salary ($102,741) had placed UCFSD at number 18 out of 500 districts in the state (based on most recent data available from PDE).  The proposed $2,000 raise will help insure that UCFSD teacher salaries remain among the best in the state.
  3. Individual teachers are earning more today than in 2009-2010, on average almost 17% more and for most nearly 22% more.

Bottom Line:
  • Most teachers (70%) have earned annual salary increases of 3.6% for the past 6 years.
  • Teachers on step 16 who have reached the top of the scale will see their salaries increase from $102,741 to $104,741.

Additional Information:




*UCFEA - the Unionville-Chadds Ford Education Association represents the teachers in contract negotiations

Monday, March 30, 2015

3/30 - UCFSD PSERS Contributions

Understanding UCFSD PSERS Contributions



Issue:  

Has UCFSD, in the past, suspended its contributions to PSERS?


In public statements and on the UCFEA* Facebook page, Scott Broomall (UCFEA* President), has asserted that for years the district suspended its contributions to PSERS.  



Response:
  1. UCFSD has never suspended its contributions to PSERS.
  2. By law UCFSD can only pay what the state mandates, no more or less.  The state sends each district a bill for PSERS each year and that is the only amount they can pay.
  3. UCFSD has always made its PSERS contributions.  The details of what it has paid by year are public record.  Click here to review the chart, or click here to the see the whole presentation (Budget Review 2014).

Bottom Line:
This claim is not true.  UCFSD has never suspended its PSERS payments.



Additional Information:


*UCFEA - the Unionville-Chadds Ford Education Association represents the teachers in contract negotiations

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

3/20 - Reasons for Going Public


The Board will address all issues related to the teacher contract in an open and honest manner. This blog has been set up as a public resource for explanations about the contract and the negotiation process. The Board feels it is important to address the concerns expressed by Scott Broomall, UCFEA President at the March Board meeting. Mr Broomall raised the question of why the Board went public. The reasons behind the Board’s decision to go public and the process involved in making its public presentation are important to understand because it helps set the tone for ongoing dialogue.
There are two reasons why the Board chose to go public.


One, the practice of this Board has always been to conduct business in an open, honest and transparent manner.  The Board wants all of the teachers and members of the community to understand the issues surrounding the contract.  This type of openness and transparency has proven time and again to increase understanding and participation - leading to better outcomes.


Two, the teacher contract drives about ½ and influences another 20% of the district's expenses.  The current negotiations will have a strong influence on the budget for the next three years.  It is important to give the public information and a voice in a process that will affect their tax bills over the next three years and beyond.
From the start of the negotiations in December the Board expressed its interest in sharing information with the public and doing so in a cooperative manner.  Going public is commonplace and has happened in other negotiations in Chester County.  The union leadership requested a delay in public notification and the Board honored that request.


  • On March 3, the Board informed the union leadership that it was time to share information with the public.  The union leadership asked for a delay. The Board honored the request.
  • On March 5, the Board provided the union leadership with its proposed public presentation. The union leadership requested changes to the presentation.  The Board agreed to those edits.
  • On March 10, the Board informed the union leadership that it would make its presentation public on Friday, March 13.


In the spirit of cooperation, not only did the Board honor the request for delaying several times, it also provided the union leadership with a copy of the document being considered for release to the public.  Changes were made to the document based on the union leadership's input.  The Board views this as an open and respectful way to approach the process.


It has been said that going public is an attack on teachers that demonizes them.  The Board believes that characterization is unwarranted and trusts that an open and honest dialogue is good for all stakeholders.  The Board appreciates the teachers in the district  and agrees with the union leadership that we are fortunate to be part of a premier school district and that teachers are at the heart of our success.


It was also asserted that the Board is being selective with information disclosed.  The Board  approaches this conversation with a willingness to engage all stakeholders and answer all questions.  The initial public presentation and union leadership’s response provide a platform for further dialogue and information sharing.  


An information page has been created on the district website.  Included on that page is the contact information for each Board member.  Updates and clarifications will be posted there as well.  The Board encourages openness and continued, respectful dialogue with the teachers and the union leadership team.

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