The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 15, 2013

Richland’s board, teachers OK deal

Dave Sutor

JOHNSTOWN — A yearlong negotiation between the Richland school board and the district’s teachers has finally yielded a contract.

The parties agreed to a deal that runs through 2016. The board unanimously approved the financial arrangement during a meeting Monday.

“We worked very hard over the course of the last year to reach a settlement,” said Lori Trentini, an elementary teacher and president of the 103-member Richland Education Association.

Formal talks started in January 2012. The teachers had been working during this academic year under terms and conditions of a contract that expired in June.

“It’s good to have it behind us,” said Richland Superintendent Thomas Fleming.

“Now we can concentrate on the business at hand and meeting the educational needs of our students.” Michael Bodolosky, board president, added, “I’m really glad this is past us.”

As part of the deal, teachers accepted a wage freeze during the first year and modest increases thereafter. On average, a teacher will get a pay raise of 2.7 percent to 2.9 percent throughout the duration of the contract. They will also now contribute more to their health care costs, mostly through in-network and out-of-network deductibles.

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