NEIU: If No State Budget by December, No Payroll for Teachers

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ARCHBALD -- An agency in Lackawanna County that provides special education services in three counties could soon lose the employees that many rely on.

The Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit, or NEIU, says it will not be able to pay those teachers by mid-December.

And the NEIU says it’s all because the state budget is months over and the NEIU relies heavily on state funding.

“The bottom line is we have a budget impasse at the state level and you know that a large portion of our funds come through the state budget, including our federal funds,” said Bob McTiernan, the executive director of the NEIU.

That was the grim message from administrators at NEIU, telling its employees the financial outlook for the agency doesn’t look good.

The agency that provides special education services in Wayne, Susquehanna, and Lackawanna Counties says with the state budget months overdue, NEIU will not be able to make payroll by mid-December.

“A large percentage of our budget is state funds or pass-through funds from the federal government through the state budget and quite frankly, we’re going to run out of money in a few weeks,” said McTiernan.

If a budget doesn’t get passed, these special education teachers will have to decide whether to continue working without pay or find other work.

For the parents in the Valley View School District, they say there is no price tag on the value of those jobs.

“Absolutely, absolutely, and the services that NEIU provides, I think it’s just unmeasurable,” said Jean Yeselavage, a grandparent.

Others say losing your paycheck in December is even tougher with the holidays.

“There are some people that I know that work at the NEIU. They have families, support their families. It’s terrible,” said parent Mike Shemonski.

The NEIU says it has a $6 million line of credit and from that, it already borrowed $2.8 million. That leaves them with $3.2 million to pay its bills. But the NEIU says it is working with the teachers union.

“The employees and their collective bargaining representatives will make some decisions on whether or not they’re going to continue to come into work and we’ll function without payroll for as long as we can,” said McTiernan.

“I believe most of the people here are interested in continuing services, again, that’s a preliminary feeling from everybody,” said Karen Buttillo, a representative with the NEIU’s teachers union.

The NEIU will hold a meeting on October 27 to discuss the possibility of taking out another loan.

2 comments

  • smokeybones (@smokeybones)

    i agree with 100 percent on that one its game there playing with us its time to look at what the state legislatures make a year there ones that should have passed this god forsaken budget by now maybe pay them less and give us more pay i had wait 3 and half year for 75 cent raise will rest them are making 1000 of thousands of dollars a year plus health packages bonuces so on to add top off that i say it must end now mr wolf should look in to the ones that work for him i wonder whats gonna happen come election day cause lot of us hear in northeast pa are feed up with crap going on in harrisburg there just as bad as congress is nobody cant agree on anything some one has money some were but they dont wanna give it out or forget about us all toughter laughing at us like we dont know whats going on behind closed doors. all i say is sign the dame bill already and help the people out already.

  • Valfreyja

    Wolf was elected to challenge the status quo set by Corbet and his mafia legislature. And he has made good on that with his proposals. But the state legislature, mostly made of Corbet era Republicans, is playing the same obsructionist game with Pennsylvania that the House is playing with the nation in Congress. These people are literally holding Pennsylvania for ransom on ideological grounds. I live in Montour county and if you follow the news you just saw that we’re going to have to take out a million dollar loan just to keep things operational here.

    Here, that means something far worse than keeping teachers paid. Geisinger is our chief industry in this part of the state, and a lot of sick people, some of them DESPERATELY sick who rely on state monies to help with their therapies, are going to be at risk. And what will this mean for the people of Montour county if the budget, when eventually passed, doesn’t provide for the principal AND the interest? The Republican party, who runs on an ideological platform of not creating or raising taxes, will have defacto forced an otherwise very poor region of the state to raise their taxes to simply survive.

    These people are vultures and hyenas! They are playing a dangerous game with YOUR PEOPLE, YOUR FAMILY. You remember who did this to you when your taxes go up in surrounding counties when they too have to make similar hard choices as we in Montour county have had to make.

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