“This afternoon the Saucon Valley teachers’ bargaining team presented an affordable proposal to school board representatives that among other things is designed to catch up and surpass salaries paid to teachers in the Bangor School District,” said the teachers’ attorney, Andrew Muir. Muir stated, “after closely comparing contracts in the Lehigh Valley, we discovered that a teacher with a master’s degree in Saucon Valley is the lowest paid teacher in the Lehigh Valley. As Saucon Valley is the premier district in the region, we must take steps to pay teachers appropriately.”
Muir stated “We encouraged school board members to refrain from the aggressive blogging efforts seen to date, which unfortunately have included sophomoric posts of a child with his tongue stuck out presumably in response to the teachers’ bargaining position. The school board has refused to identify which board member posted the picture. Naturally, the board member who posted the picture should publicly apologize for the post as such antics only serve to create discord. Such discord leads to labor unrest and with labor unrest comes consequences: districts that have had major problems are vulnerable to declining housing values. Here we have already have two strikes since the majority of this board took over… no one wants to see a third.”
“For the last two months Saucon Valley teachers have worked hard to put a new proposal together that will get the contract settled”, Muir said. “Today, the teachers believe they have given the school board a proposal that fairly compensates teachers for the effort they put for on behalf of the students and the excellent results they obtain year after year”, said Muir.
“The Association asked me to respond to the School Board’s press release as it contains the type of misleading statements that have led to much of the discord between the parties. I will respond to two. First, the Association has asked to have the president released from duties such as cafeteria duties so that she can work with administrators to solve problems. The board’s representative, for unknown reasons, recklessly stated that the proposal sought to relieve the president of teaching duties despite the Association clearly stating the proposal addressed nonteaching duties only. Second, as all salary increases will be retroactive, any current employee will receive retroactive pay. Employees who have retired, but worked under the new contract will be paid for time worked,” Muir said.
“Saucon Valley Teachers are united and look forward to continue to negotiate until a new agreement is reached. The Association encourages the school board to negotiate with an open mind so that the parties can move forward together”, said Muir.
The Saucon Valley Education Association represents 187 teaching professionals employed by the Saucon Valley School District. Saucon Valley teachers have been working under an expired contract since June 30, 2012.