Council Rock Reaches Contract Agreement with Teachers, Support Staff
Members of the Council Rock Education Association and the Council Rock Education Support Professionals Association ratified the tentative three-year agreement by a membership vote, district officials said.
The Council Rock School District has reached a tentative three-year agreement with the Council Rock Education Association (CREA) and the Council Rock Education Support Professionals Association (CRESPA).
The agreement with CREA, which represents 853 employees, including teachers, counselors, nurses and psychologists, freezes salaries the first year, according to a press release issued by Superintendent Mark Klein. In the second year of the CREA agreement, 47 percent of the teachers that are not at the top of the salary scale will receive a typical “step increase” to occur during the 13th pay of the 2013-14school year. There will be no increase in the second year for teachers at the top of the scale, according to district officials.
In the third year, all teachers will receive a half percent salary increase at mid-year, according to district officials. Currently, the top teacher salary for Council Rock is $106,900. Under the new agreement, the top teacher salary will rise to $107,200 by mid-year of the 2014-15 school year, Council Rock officials said.
Under the new agreement, teachers’ contributions to the health care plan will increase by a total of 5 percent. The first year, CREA members will pay 11 percent towards their Blue Cross health care plan. In the second year of the agreement, the contribution increases to 14 percent and by the third year, it’s 16 percent.
“The association also agreed to other plan design modifications including mandatory mail order for prescription drugs, which is estimated to save the district more than $100,000 annually,” the press release said.
“The agreement with CREA also includes a Memorandum of Understanding that will require both sides to continue to discuss terms and conditions of employment, including the salary matrix, over the next two years,” the release said. “Both sides agreed to these terms in an effort to look for innovative changes in the agreement that would benefit both parties.”
The tentative three-year agreement with CRESPA, which represents 503 professional support staff including teaching assistants, school secretaries, maintenance support, bus monitors, and recess and cafeteria aides, calls for a half percent salary increase in the first year. In the second year of the agreement, CRESPA members will receive a 1 percent increase and a 1.5 percent increase in the third year.
In the first year of the agreement, CRESPA members would pay 4.5 percent towards their core health care plan, district officials said. In the second and third year, employees will pay tiered rates: members earning less than $32,000 would pay 5 percent and then 6 percent; members earning more than $32,000 will pay 7 percent and then 9 percent.
Like CREA, CRESPA also agreed to participate in the mandatory mail order for prescription drugs, district officials said.
Klein said both employee groups have ratified the agreements by a membership vote.
According to school board President Kyle McKessy, the school board's negotiations committee began meeting with the executive membership of CREA and CRESPA leadership for the purpose of collective bargaining in early February.
"This process was extraordinarily challenging for us all, but was respectful and educational in every aspect. We engaged in constructive and productive conversation," McKessy said in an email to Patch.
District officials will announce the tentative agreements during Thursday’s regularly scheduled board meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Chancellor Center.
A final vote on the agreements is scheduled for the board's meeting on Thursday, June 21.
"If this tentative agreement is approved on June 21, we will continue to work together with CREA and CRESPA proactively and will meet regularly to ensure we are serving our kids and community in the best possible manner," McKessy said.
Both associations agreed to cooperate with Council Rock School District in the exploration of joining the Bucks-Montgomery Health Care Consortium, district official said. This consortium includes Central Bucks School District, New Hope Solebury School District and the Bucks County Intermediate Unit.
“There are potential savings in the combined power of these organizations that may be beneficial to Council Rock,” the press release said. The chairman of the consortium’s board, BCIU Director Dr. Barry Galasso, will be present at Thursday’s Council Rock School Board meeting.
Information on both tentative agreements can be found on the front page of the Council Rock website, www.crsd.org, at the "Proposed Employee Agreements" link under "Headlines."
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