The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


May 6, 2014

Central Cambria teachers press for pact

MUNDYS CORNER — The Central Cambria School District tentatively approved a budget for the 2014-15 school year.

The board unanimously approved the $21,109,103 general fund budget Monday at the school board meeting at Jackson Elementary School.

The budget comes with no increase in millage.

Residents have 30 days to review the budget at the district office. Final approval is expected on

June 9.

About 100 members of the Central Cambria Education Association turned out to rally for a new contract.

Teachers have been without a contract since June 2012.

Retiring math and computer instructor Joseph P. Karwoski urged the board to pass a contract.

Teachers wearing black CCEA T-shirts pressed in around him as addressed the board.

“I am honored to call these guys colleagues,” he said. “And I would just ask the board to please – we’ve been doing this for two years – let’s get together and solve this. Remember one voice, one district. That is Central Cambria.”

Health care remains a key sticking point, said Barb Henning, PSEA Central-Western Region field director.

The board is asking for an increase in health care deductibles for individuals and families and is planning to phase out retiree health care benefits.

Board member Thomas Woods outlined the rising cost of health care as charted by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

On average, health insurances premiums for a family rose in 2013 to more than $16,000.

In contrast the school district pays more than $21,000 for a family’s health care premium, Woods said.

Individuals are being asked to contribute $240 a year for health care, far below the national average of $999, he said. Families are being asked to contribute $480 per year, also less than the national average of $4,565, Woods said.

The union rejected the proposal.

“The community of taxpayers have repeatedly asked me why this is unacceptable?” Woods said. “Maybe somebody can explain that to me.”

Henning didn’t agree.

“I could dispute those facts,” she said after the meeting. “I could dispute the fact that he was talking about the private sector.”

In other business:

Jennifer L. Mesoras was named principal of Cambria Elementary School at a salary of $65,000. She served as interim principal for about seven months.

“I can’t wait to work with the fantastic staff, students and parents,” Mesoras said.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on


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