The Numbers Behind the Ratified Teacher Contract

The Ellwood City Area School Board ratified a contract with the Ellwood Area Education Association for the 2016-20 school years on Thursday, Nov. 12.

The new five-year contract, retroactively  beginning July 1, is nearly identical to the previous one, which ran from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012. The changes are primarily slight increases in salaries.

In the previous contract, while teachers had a pay increase for experience, there was no base pay increase. Hence, a new teacher with a master’s degree hired in 2012 would make $40,223, the same money as a new teacher with a master’s degree hired in 2014.

The new contract has a flat base pay increase of $2,900 over the five-year term or $580 per year. Hence, a Step 10 teacher with a bachelor’s degree would make $51,767 this year and $54,667 in the 2019-20 year.

The step increases, which increase salary based on experience for years 1 through 17, did not change. For example, the difference between a Step 17 Master+30 teacher and a Step 1 Master+30 remains at $31,502.

The contract also includes various increases in other areas of employee compensation including sick pay, long-term substitutes and coach salaries.

On the other end, employee contributions to their health care plan will increase in the 2016-17 school. Currently, EAEA members pay between $10 to $45 monthly depending on their plan but this will increase to $15 to $75 by the 2019-20 school year.

Negotiations for the new contract lasted over three months and nearly led to a strike. A settlement was reached at the 11th hour on Oct. 12. The board subsequently ratified the contract on Nov. 12 in a 5-1 vote.

Board members Jennifer Grossman and Bob Stevenson were absent. Board member Matt Morrella abstained because his father is part of the bargaining unit. President Mike Nuepauer, Vice-President LeRoy Cortez, and board members George Garda, Kathy Pansera and Anthony Buzzelli voted in favor. Board member Renee Pitrelli cast the dissenting vote.

For her reasons, Pitrelli cited the uncertainty of the state budget and another reason she couldn’t yet specify.

The ratification was one of the last acts of the current board. In December, the board will reorganize minus Garda, Grossman and Stevenson and induct three new members, Erica Gray-Sutkowski, Jennifer Tomon and Danielle Woodhead.

In order to put the salary of teachers in the Ellwood City Area School District into a regional perspective, a list showing the average teacher salaries of mid-western Pennsylvania school districts is included below. The salaries are for the 2013-14 school year and are taken from TribLive.

  • Montour- 77,785
  • Quakey Valley- 76,228
  • North Allegheny- 74,183
  • Neshannock- 66,964
  • Avonworth- 66,406
  • Hermitage- 64,773
  • Seneca Valley-67,478
  • Hopewell- 65,637
  • South Side- 65,510
  • New Castle- 63,698
  • Shenango- 63,593
  • Riverside- 63,262
  • Laurel- 63,016
  • Moon- 62,862
  • Mohawk- 62,175
  • Sharpsville: 61,354
  • Pine-Richland- 60,880
  • Rochester- 60,815
  • Ambridge- 60,546
  • Central Valley- 60,347
  • Blackhawk- 59,584
  • South Butler- 59,555
  • Slippy Rock- 59,194
  • New Brighton- 59,028
  • Western Beaver- 58,599
  • Mars- 58,265
  • Ellwood City- 57,722
  • Butler- 57,631,
  • Sharon- 57,283
  • Grove City- 56,779
  • Wilmington- 56,641
  • Beaver Falls- 55,316
  • Mercer: 54,889
  • West Middlesex- 52,822
  • Freedom- 53,473
  • Union- 52,539

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