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.