Information from the Superintendent
Superintendent - Open Comment on Music/Chorus Personnel for 2012-2013:
I would like to clarify some of the rumors that have been circulating in the community about the personnel discussion at the school board meeting held December 6, 2011. There was an agenda item that clearly stated there would be an overview of personnel for the 2012-2013 school year.
I provided an overview of my thoughts for all 13 positions that were retiring at the end of this school year. I noted that I believed all positions should be replaced with two exceptions.
1 - High school Art be replaced with a pre-engineering course and art would now be offered by the remaining Art teacher.
2 - The second exception presented was a set of three options on the replacement of band and chorus at the high school. One "option" for board consideration was the combining of the high school music and choral director into one person which would eliminate band at grade 4 but keep it at grade 5. I asked to see if such a person might be out there, so when positions are taken into consideration for replacement, I would have an answer if asked if we could reduce staffing.
It was stated several times by me and the board president that this was just the beginning of the process. The request for an advertisement was to see if such an option was even possible. The district would not know unless it looked for such a candidate. It was also stated, by me, that we needed to look at these postions now and the decision on these positions could not wait until June, upon final completion of the budget, so someone would be in place prior to the marching band season,
There is also a rumor that I have someone in mind. The answer is no, I do not have anyone in mind. I stated at the meeting " I am not even sure such a person is out there".
The board and I agreed that we would see if this combined position was a possible option and we would investigate this matter until January. If at that time there was not an acceptable person for consideration we would then need to look at the other two options presented for the replacement of the music positions. The board would need to decide between the remaining options of replacing both positions or replace with one full time band and one part time chorus.
It is my duty to provide all options for consideration and not just the most popular ones in these fiscal times.
Dr. Sandra Fellin
Saucon Valley School District
Focus Planning Agendas and Handouts:
September 22, 2010
October 11, 2010
October 27, 2010
November 11, 2010
2010 Focus Community Survey Results
Charter/Cyber Schools vs. Saucon Valley on PSSA's
Results of 2011 Community District Survey
Message on Bullying and Harassment
SAUCON VALLEY PAY FREEZE – Press Release 6/20/2011
On April, 29, 2011 a letter was sent to all employee groups and individual contracted employees asking for their support and cooperation for a one year pay freeze.
The Board has chosen to recognize, honor, and adhere to the terms and conditions of employment contained in the contracts and agreements now in place for the fiscal year 2011-2012. The approved 2011-2012 District budget reflects this commitment.
The freeze fiscal year requested is 2012-2013. In all cases, except for the Educational Assistants’ group, the freeze year is treated as an one year extension of the existing contract or agreement with a zero increase in salary or hourly wage rates.. For the Educational Assistants’ group, the last year of the current agreement would be amended to set the percentage increase in the hourly wage rate to zero. All the other terms and conditions of employment in the existing contracts or agreements remain unchanged.
In the past years, the Board has prudently set aside revenues in anticipation of the impact of the economy, the forecasted PSERS employer contribution increases, the GASB 45 requirement for funding future defined post employment benefits, the uncertainty of the funding stream from the Federal government and the Commonwealth government, ever increasing health and operational costs, and unfunded mandates from both governmental levels. Due to these increased costs and reduced revenues, it is anticipated that the continuation of the set aside will be significantly reduced in fiscal 2011-2012.
The Board’s definition of freeze is as follows: For salaried employees the first pay check in 2012-13 will be identical to the first pay check received in 2011-2012. For hourly employees, the 2012 wage rate would stay the same as the 2011 wage rate. Any employee initiated change in benefits (such as adding a spouse to health benefits) or if federal or commonwealth tax tables are changed would result in a change in the net pay, but the gross pay would be remain unchanged.
Meetings have been held with the designated representative(s) of each group to answer any initial questions concerning the April 29th letter. Any subsequent questions from all employee groups have been answered.
As of Friday June 17, 2011, the administrative cabinet (Superintendent Dr Fellin, Assistant Superintendent Dr Atkinson, Business Manager Mr Bonenberger), the Act 93 Administrators group, the Secretarial and Clerical group, the Food Services group, the Educational Assistants (Aides) group, and the Support Staff PSEA union (mechanics, drivers, custodians, maintenance employees) have all agreed to the requested one year freeze. The Board greatly appreciates the affirmative cooperative action by these employees and employee groups.
The only employee group that has not agreed to the request is the Saucon Valley Education Association (PSEA union) which is comprised of the teachers, nurses, guidance counselors, and librarians employed by the District. In its request to all employees, the Board asked for a cooperative and supportive freeze in order to reduce the negative impact of the above listed economic concerns, rather than enter into an extensive negotiations process in these uncertain times, by asking for a one year extension of existing contracts and agreements. The most current response from the SVEA union demands that the Board negotiate conditions for the freeze on the union’s terms, specifically column movement on the salary matrix and a commitment not to change programs of instruction nor implement staff reductions. This demand has consistently been rejected by the Board. The Board regrets the SVEA union position, and urges that the freeze request be reconsidered
Because the current contract with the SVEA union expires June 30, 2012, the Board is now preparing for full contract negotiations with the SVEA union.