Following is the press release from March 9:
HARRISBURG (March 8, 2012) – Teachers in the Central Dauphin School District have rejected a school board-led proposal to freeze salaries for the 2012-13 school year.
This is the second year in a row that the district has requested a salary freeze.
Last year, teachers agreed to postpone their pay increase in order to help the district with its budget shortfall. In exchange, the district extended the teachers’ contract by a year.
This year, the district has again asked teachers to forgo their contractually agreed upon salary increase, but this time they did not offer to extend the contract.
Teachers met last week to discuss the proposal from the school board. Members of the Central Dauphin Education Association rejected the proposal in a vote this week
“As we demonstrated last year, we are willing to make sacrifices to keep district educational programs, but we need evidence that those sacrifices will be put to good use,” said Georgia Smee, a Learning Support school teacher and co- president of the 900-member Central Dauphin Education Association. Central Dauphin Education Association gathered and presented many ideas to the board for consideration that would help cut costs. As of this date, they have only gotten back to CDEA on a few of those items.The request for a salary freeze comes at the same time state Auditor General Jack Wagner is auditing the contract buyout of Superintendent Luis Gonzalez, who has been on special assignment for the 2011-12 school year until his contract expires in July.
Additionally, the district is spending additional taxpayer dollars to pay a private attorney to outline the proposal, rather than relying on the district’s own solicitor.
The priority of teachers in the Central Dauphin School District always has been, and will continue to remain the education of every student in this district. Additionally, CDEA is committed to the long-term financial health of the district and remains committed to working with the board to help solve our financial difficulties. We call on the district to demonstrate their commitment by eliminating the wasteful spending on contract buyouts and costly privatization programs that have plagued the district in the past several years.