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By the Numbers: How Scranton Teacher Salaries Stack Up

SCRANTON — They’re walking the picket line for the second week in a row in downtown Scranton. Teachers from the city school district have been worki...
scr strike

SCRANTON -- They're walking the picket line for the second week in a row in downtown Scranton. Teachers from the city school district have been working without a contract for more than a month and they say they deserve a raise.

"The last few weeks have been a little trying," says Rosemary Boland, who is the president of the Scranton Federation of Teachers.

But are her members paid fairly?

Newswatch 16 Investigates looked at the median salaries of the Scranton School District, and compared it to other city school districts across the state and region, and Scranton is dead last.

Bethlehem $68,645
Williamsport $68,600
Wilkes-Barre $63,109
Harrisburg $59,081
Erie $55,173
Reading $53,275
Scranton $52,500

 

Newswatch 16 Investigates also looked at these communities' per capita income gathered from the U.S. Census and found Scranton's incomes higher than all other cities except Bethlehem.

Bethlehem $23,827
Scranton $20,244
Erie $18,907
Harrisburg $18,686
Williamsport $17,571
Wilkes-Barre $17,151
Reading $13,306

 

We showed the numbers to Rosemary Boland.

"We try not to dwell on it because it doesn't build up morale too much," said the union president. "What it tells me that what we're asking for in this collective bargaining session is a fair offer for our district to give to us."

"We're trying to work with the numbers," countered Scranton School Board vice president Bob Sheridan.

Whether it comes to teachers, police, or firefighters, officials say the city's declining population and relatively low income makes it hard to even give raises. And Sheridan says the state budget impasse makes it even harder.

"We're waiting for the budget to pass from the state," Sheridan said. "And without knowing what's coming from Harrisburg, we don't know."

Scranton teachers and the school board are also at odds over benefits and class size rules. Our investigation found there is little difference in benefits packages compared to other districts. And Scranton is the only school district we looked at that currently limits class size as part of the collective bargaining agreement.