Not deal yet at MCA
MOUNT CARMEL - No deal was reached on a new contract Wednesday between the Mount Carmel Area School Board and the district's teachers union.
Joe Varano, president of the Mount Carmel Area Education Association, was optimistic going into Wednesday's negotiation session and hoped an agreement would be reached.
That didn't happen, and he said the district's teachers "continue to be frustrated."
"There was no real progress tonight," Varano said by cell phone. "It's unfortunate that the school board does not understand how committed we are to a fair deal. Our membership is 110 percent united. We want a contract that values the importance of a good teacher and recognizes that you can't put students first if you keep teachers last."
Varano said a date has not yet been scheduled for the next negotiation session.
Donna James, school board president, was unavailable for comment.
The union has been working under an expired contract since June 2012.
A majority of the district's 113 teachers picketed a negotiation session Sept. 18 and a school board meeting Sept. 19. The next school board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 17, and a demonstration has not yet been ruled out.
The average teacher salary in the district in 2011-12 was $43,834, ranking Mount Carmel Area 489th out of 500 Pennsylvania school districts. School board members have said the district is facing escalating retirement and heath care costs and is not as financially well-off as the union believes.