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Clarion-Limestone Teachers’ Union Says School Board Is Misleading the Public
The following release was issued on Thursday, October 18, 2018, by Patrick Andrekovich, the PSEA UniServ representative for Clarion-Limestone:
The Clarion-Limestone Education Association was very disappointed that the District chose to ignore the FACTS and mislead the public in its press release that “fires back” at the teachers.
At no point did the statement from the District address the FACT that the students and teachers at Clarion-Limestone rank #1 in academic performance in Clarion County, while ranking next to last in compensation. The District ignored the FACT that the Association’s proposal doubles the current deductible amounts for health insurance. The statement does not address the FACT that the Association’s proposal not only require NO tax increase, but also allows the District Fund Balance to continue to grow. According to documents provided by the District, the current Reserve Fund Balance is approximately $4,150,000.00. Over the past five years, the District has added approximately $300,000.00 to its Reserve Fund Balance. The Pennsylvania Department of Education suggests a reserve balance of 5-10% of the overall budget. Due to the very modest settlements accepted by the Association in the past, the District’s current reserve balance is 29% of the overall budget and growing. The final critical FACT the author ignored is that the current proposals are less than 1% (.007%) of the total budget apart! That is unacceptable!
The author’s futile attempt to mislead and enrage the public about health insurance is an effort to distract from the FACTS cited. As stated, the Association’s proposal includes doubling the current deductibles! The Board’s statement also neglects to a FACT they have acknowledged, 25% of the staff would be forced to take a pay cut under the District’s proposal. The Association finds that to be unacceptable!
Highmark Health Insurance just announced record-breaking profits of $1.1 BILLION in 2017. The Board would like to see those numbers grow. The Association wants to work together with the District to limit how much Highmark profits off the taxpayers of CL. For 9 months, the Association has requested to explore options to save money on premiums and the District has declined every attempt. Instead, they want to shift costs to the employee, which all research shows will only increase utilization and ultimately cost the taxpayers more money.
We would encourage everyone to contact their representative asking them why they want the highest performing teachers in Clarion County to agree to a pay cut? Ask your representatives why they won’t work with the Association to help cut health care costs? Ask them to quit deliberately trying to enrage and mislead the public and return to the table to reach a fair settlement!
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