Washington teachers accept 1-year wage freeze

April 22, 2013
Washington School Board President Jeffrey Fine and Superintendent Roberta DiLorenzo at a board meeting Monday when a new contract was approved for the district’s teachers. - Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Washington School District teachers have accepted a wage freeze this term and additional hours of work under a new 5-year contract they ratified Friday and school directors approved Monday.

The district’s 132 teachers will receive 3 percent salary increases on average in each of the remaining four years of the contract, district Superintendent Roberta P. DiLorenzo said.

DiLorenzo said the contract was “reasonable” before it was unanimously approved by the school board.

In a joint statement issued by the district and Washington Education Association, they said negotiations focused on respect between both sides and a commitment to “quality service to our students and community members.”

“The board of directors and teachers are to be commended for once again focusing on the best interest of our students and for working together to remain within our financial parameters,” both parties stated jointly.

The teachers agreed to work 192 days each term, beginning in the 2013-14 term, a calendar requiring students to attend three additional days of classes beyond the required 180 days a term. The new calendar requires teachers to work five additional days a year, which include one clerical day and one in-service day.

The new contract also calls for teachers to pay an additional share of their health care premiums, increasing from 7 percent next term to 10 percent in the final year of the contract.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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