PA Cyber Charter School teachers to join PSEA
Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School teachers voted overwhelmingly to join the state’s largest school employee labor union, the union said on Monday.
Teachers at the Midland-based school will be the only charter or cyber school faculty represented by the Pennsylvania State Education Association, union spokesman Wythe Keever said. They cast ballots during a mail-in vote that ran from March 25 to April 7 and voted 71-34 to join the union.
Keever said the teachers reported earning less money than their peers at more conventional public schools, though he did not have an average salary figure for PA Cyber Charter.
Collective bargaining can begin only after the National Labor Relations Board certifies the vote, Keever said. School CEO Michael Conti said he expects the process could start within a month or so.
“We respect their decision, and we’re going to bargain in good faith,” Conti said. He said the school’s teacher salaries “are probably somewhere in the middle of the pack” for the Beaver County area.
The school increased teacher salaries 7 percent to 12 percent last summer, Conti said.
Established in 2000, PA Cyber Charter is a public K-12 charter school with offices in Pine, Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Allentown, Bellefonte, Harrisburg and Crum Lynne. It self-reports about 11,200 students and 115 teachers.
PSEA will try to improve salaries, benefits and working conditions, union President Michael Crossley said in a written statement. The union represents about 180,000 active and retired teachers, health care workers and other school employees statewide.
PSEA once represented teachers at the former Village Charter School in Chester and the former Pa Learners Online Regional Cyber Charter School in Homestead.