Gershenfeld recommended an across-the-board $1,000 payment in the first year of the contract to all personnel except those eligible for step increments. Those teachers should receive the increment as of the start of the school year, but not the $1,000 payment, he said.
For the second and third years of the agreement, he recommended increases of 2 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, plus increments.
The association has asked for increases of 5 percent the first year, 5.5 percent the second year, and 6 percent the third year, plus increments, the report states. Teachers have been working without a contract since June 30. The association asked for the fact-finder, who was appointed by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board Oct. 12.
In recent months, taxpayers have urged the board to hold the line on salary increases. The average teacher salary is $55,000.
Gershenfeld said the school board made a "persuasive case" that the current starting salary of $29,100 is somewhat high in the present market. He suggested a starting salary of $27,500.
However, he rejected the board's proposal for a two-tier pay system in which employees hired after July 1 would have salary steps 20 percent less than those covered by the 1992-93 agreement.
Gershenfeld said that change would "diminish the quality of the pool of candidates for teaching positions."
As for health benefits, the board is seeking a 50-50 split in premium payments instead of the current 5 percent dependent co-pay arrangement. Gershenfeld suggested keeping the 5 percent co-pay for dependents and having employees pay 5 percent of any increase in the cost of coverage.
For major medical, he suggested a deductible of $250 per individual per benefit period to a maximum of $500 per family. The deductible is now $100 per individual, up to $250 per family.
The board is now soliciting public comment, and will vote again on the report Dec. 6. Association president Linda Cook could not be reached for comment yesterday, but has said the association will take further action on the report if needed.
Residents can send comments to the board, in care of Penn-Delco School District, 95 Concord Rd., Aston, Pa. 19014.