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SVEA: Actual Cost of Teacher Payroll Increases Estimated at 3%

The Saucon Valley Education Association represents 187 teaching professionals employed by the Saucon Valley School District.

The following was provided to Patch by Andrew Weir, an attorney representing the Saucon Valley Education Association:

Andrew Muir, attorney for the Saucon Valley Teachers stated:  “”The current School Board members seek to distort the true costs of the teachers’ payroll figures.  Such ploys will only serve to escalate the negotiation tensions and create mistrust.  The true annual payroll cost will likely only rise by approximately three percent, whereas the total cost of paying the professionals will depend on what the parties negotiate.”

“The parties have already suffered two strikes in the past 5 years and the board’s latest claims will only increase the chances of more unrest”, said Muir.  “As I have previously stated in interviews, it is only a matter of time before the housing values in Saucon Valley began to drop as the word spreads that this district has ongoing labor problems”, said Muir.  

Attorney Muir also stated “The bigger issue in these negotiations is the school board’s continued effort to persuade the public it is having financial difficulties while it continues a “tea party approach” to running the district.  The school board admits it is sitting on $13 million in its surplus.  I suspect no one in Lower Saucon believes the school board’s cries of financial problems.  Second, if in fact the school board is truly experiencing financial problems (it is not), how do the school board members explain that the Saucon Valley School District is alone in the state in not raising additional revenues for six consecutive years-- not even to fight the effects of inflation!  I think it is fair to conclude the school board is being unreasonable and misrepresenting its financial picture.  The school board is being unreasonable and the consequences of its behaviors will likely be paid by homeowners whose property values will drop.”

“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.
Bob Lentz May 28, 2014 at 10:35 PM
The satire of Muir's demands are coming to an end . The teachers blame the state for not contributing enough and the pot of underfunding is growing . There isn't an amount of money that can satiate the greed . It all comes from taxes the citizens pay for . Now Corbett wants to come up with a hybrid plan of defined benefit and 401k type of pension all before he completes a budget by the end of June . I guess he's the least of two or three evils but I won't vote for him. Pensions and health benefits must be paid by law . So, we can't afford to pay teacher retires an early out and pay health benefits til medicare age . There isn't much left over after pay and pension obligations are paid . Hang in there Bryan, and just let us know when they become higher than the budget .
Bob Lentz May 28, 2014 at 10:53 PM
Home values have been going down slowly in Hellertown Mark. Take a walk around , if they're not rentals they aren't being repaired or taken care of like Hellertown used to be . It's a buyers market and you get asked to pay closing costs for a few grand . This whole mess isn't going to be pretty at all. It's all over the country , not just Pa . We've been in the dark too long and have a breath of air with the releases of Mr. Eichfeld . One person isn't going to solve the problems this state will be in .
Bob Lentz May 28, 2014 at 11:01 PM
According to Ingrim the surplus was caused by overtaxing by the previous boards ? " Thankfully this board didn't spend the surpluses " Now send it off to psers before we get it added on to our taxes .
Mark Morawski June 03, 2014 at 02:21 PM
Bob, Take a look at Zillow recent sales and see where they are going relative to the Zestimate..... WAY under.... Take a look Zillow is a great resource and look at what a $300k house pays in taxes here in and a 300k house pays in Parkland district. But the excuse is they have industry, well we gave away our casino money to the casino.... so guess what teachers make less... boo hoo
Bob Lentz June 03, 2014 at 03:27 PM
You won't get an argument from me about home sales . Everything dropped since 2008/2009 . Back then I was told I could get $350,000 for my home . Where would I go if I could possibly get that , maybe mongolia . The high taxes don't scare NY and Jersey people away. They're getting a break in many ways . It's the step and column increases in the teachers contracts that bring their pay higher than the 3% . Strike for more and only lose a little time .

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