First Posted: 9/15/2008
Keeping a promise made at the Sept 8 meeting, the Lake-Lehman School Board posted the terms of the contract offer given to teachers Aug. 27. The union immediately accused the board of violating an agreement made Sept. 11 to settle an unfair labor practice filed withe the state Labor Relations Board.
The offer is a seven year contract with 1.5 percent raises in 2006-07 and 2007-08, and 3 percent raises the remaining five years. As with the last board offer, there is no demand that teachers pay part of their health insurance premiums – sticking point since the contract expired in 2006 - but there are proposed changes in insurance deductibles and drug coverage that the board has said would save money and that is similar to plans accepted by teachers in Greater Nanticoke Area and Wyoming Valley West.
Union Lead Negotiator John Holland declined to comment on the details of the offer, repeating his position that the union will not negotiate in public. Holland and Union Spokesman Paul Shemansky both said the school board had agreed "not to negotiate in public" as part of a settlement made Sept 11 in an unfair labor practices complaint filed by the union with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.
The exact statement in the PLRB agreement is "The distric agrees to submit any collective bargaining proposal to the Association’s chief negotiator in the first instance as required by law." Shemansky conceded that, technically, the board did follow that promise this time, but that posting the terms of the contract still violates the spirit of the agreement. "You don’t get a contract when you try to bargain in public," he said.
The board offer is posted here and on the district Web site at http://www.lake-lehman.k12.pa.us/index.html