“It`s been a long process, but we`re happy to have reached an agreement that allows the parties to cooperate,” even though provisions to reopen the contract come into effect, said Amy Rosenberger, a lawyer for the union. On whether Cheltenham`s contract would serve as a model for others, “it`s not a one-size-fits-all,” Rosenberger said. “It`s hard to predict how this might develop in other districts in the region or throughout the state.” Other districts in the midst of negotiations are Philadelphia, where the borough has projected a budget deficit of $1 billion over five years due to the pandemic. The agreement grants increases of 2%, 2.94% and 2.58% in the first, second and third years, with retroactive effect to 1 July 2019. But it also stipulates that if the borough`s financial situation deteriorates and the reopening is triggered, the borough and the union will have 45 days to renegotiate wages. If Montgomery County`s financial situation deteriorates, it will be able to reopen the contract — which will cost $3.1 million over three years — under arrangements agreed to by the union and approved by the board of directors this week. The agreement also contains health insurance changes that save the district money and a language that allows for flexible planning in high and high schools — changes that were discussed before the pandemic and would only take effect during the 2021-22 school year, Haywood said. “I don`t think there`s a broader reopening provision in a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania collective agreement,” said Jeff Sultanik, an attorney representing school districts, including Cheltenham, during contract negotiations. For the district, which had been negotiating with the union since January 2019, “we knew the ground had changed dramatically” when the coronavirus hit, said Joel Fishbein, the school authority`s vice president. He and President Julie Haywood paid tribute to the union with “incredible flexibility” to reach an agreement. With regard to the circumstances that would trigger the reopening of the contract, if the expected collection rate of the rounding tax decreases by more than 3% compared to the previous year or if the primary source of state aid decreases by $300,000. The borough`s budget for the coming year is about $US 122 million. The union represents about 400 teachers.

Salaries for this school year start between $45,916 and $67,585, depending on the teacher`s training and certification level, and range from $85,157 to $117,281. . . .