Saucon Teachers’ Latest Contract Proposal Carries Roughly 7 Percent Raises, Board Attorney Says

August 8, 2014 – In The News
Lehigh Valley Live

Jeffrey T. Sultanik was quoted in the Lehigh Valley Live article, “Saucon Teachers’ Latest Contract Proposal Carries Roughly 7 Percent Raises, Board Attorney Says.” Full text can be found in the August 8, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is below.

Saucon Valley teachers’ latest contract proposal would carry approximate raises of 7 percent per year for the duration of the three-year contract, according to school board attorney Jeffrey Sultanik.

The Saucon Valley Education Association and school board have been in contentious negotiations for nearly three years on a new contract. Both parties returned to the negotiating table Thursday night and the teachers presented a new proposal, which was countered with a verbal proposal from the board.

"I've been doing this close to 36 years; this negotiation has no precedent," Sultanik said. "And the association's total disregard of the work that we took over two and a half years to negotiate and just then throwing it down the toilet really is impossible to even fathom, which is why we have become one of the few school districts in the state to file an unfair labor practice against the union for bargaining in bad faith."

While no agreement had been reached, the teachers’ association Andrew Muir said the board had acknowledged the association’s proposal and the figures were accurate, calling this a big step in the negotiations. Another negotiating session is scheduled for Monday, but Sultanik called the session contentious.

"I do not share the same sense of optimism articulated by Mr. Muir," he said.

While the teachers are proposing a deal that would amount to about seven percent raises per year, the board has countered with a plan Sultanik called a “deferred raise.”

"We think teachers will be surprised to see how much money (they will receive)," Sultanik said.

"We just do not believe the current association leadership is in touch with the marketplace impacting teachers in the region," Sultanik said. "Nor are they in touch with the will of the taxpayers in the region."