The Bensalem Township board of school directors announced that it has reached a five-year collective bargaining agreement with the 461-member Bensalem Township Education Association. The contract was ratified by BTEA members on Sept. 16 and approved unanimously at the Sept. 28 school board meeting.
The BTEA and board engaged in cordial, mutually-productive negotiations as part of an “early bird” agreement this spring and summer. This agreement, the first of its kind in decades, represents the partnership between the board, district and members in support of the students and community they serve. Both sides focused on the recruitment and retention of the best teachers for the children of Bensalem.
The five-year agreement will commence July 1, 2023 and be in effect through June 30, 2028. This will position Bensalem to continue to attract high-quality educators and retain top talent.
The new starting salary for a member possessing a bachelor’s degree will be $51,952 for the 2023-24 school year. There will be a new salary scale reducing steps from 22 to 18 in Year 2; step increase based on years of service; column movement based on academic achievement every year except Year 2; and step increases ranging from $750 to $1,000 in each year of the contract.
This increased compensation will be partially offset by additional state education subsidy, anticipated rise of local property valuation, anticipated attrition, savings from administrative reorganization and additional commonwealth support.
The Bensalem Township School District will continue its membership in the Bucks Mont Health Consortium. This labor-management trust has saved the district millions of dollars throughout the life of its membership, while providing high-quality and cost-effective health and wellness benefits for district employees.
There are also language changes to support timely hiring practices in the interest of advancing Bensalem’s position in an extremely challenging education employment market. Additional language changes promote academic and program continuity.
“The passing of this five-year collective bargaining agreement will help both retention and recruitment in Bensalem, but most importantly the passing of this five-year agreement will help the students that we educate and the community in which they live in,” said BTEA president George Daka.
“I would like to congratulate and thank president Daka, chief negotiator Egan, their team and all BTEA members for their work throughout this process. We remain grateful for our partnership as we are united in our mission providing a world class education and experience for the children of Bensalem,” said board president Eric Price. “I am also grateful for the hard and thoughtful work of the district’s negotiating team. Ms. Nicholas, Mr. Amuso, Mr. Pizzo, Mr. Langowski and Mr. Steffy provided a platform and forum that made this possible. Our entire board has been integrally involved every step of the way and provided insight, guidance and support.”