Abington Heights teachers’ union postpones potential strike until March 1

By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com
-

CLARKS SUMMIT — The Abington Heights Education Association (AHEA) rescinded its Jan. 2 strike date, following a meeting with the district’s negotiating committee Dec. 19, and now plans to strike on March 1 unless significant progress is made on a new teachers’ contract prior to that date, according to AHEA President Tim Moher.

According to Moher, the teachers’ union made a modification to its proposal for a new contract during a meeting Oct. 23 in hopes of bringing the sides closer to a deal.

“We feel like we put a very good proposal on the table,” Moher said. “We offered a potential change to our health care, which was the provider of our pharmacy plan and that would save the district at least $300,000 – which ends up being more money than they were requesting through a premium share.”

Abington Heights Superintendent of Schools Michael Mahon said the district has some concerns with the language in the proposed prescription plan.

“We feel there are some significant deficiencies in the proposal that was passed across the table to us,” Mahon said. “There is a huge lack of clarity on how exactly the plan works in terms of driving down costs. There are no guarantees in the documents that show how much we will save. It’s very clear what we must pay the provider. Also, the provider can raise the rates after the first year and we can’t deal with another administrator for three years. We’d really like to know more about how it works for us.”

Mahon added the school board has had discussions with other third party administrators in hopes of finding additional savings.

The next negotiations sessions between the district and teachers’ union is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8.

The previous teachers’ contract expired Aug. 31, 2017.

https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_calculator-1680905_960_720-1.jpg

By Robert Tomkavage

rtomkavage@timesleader.com

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.