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Mediator in Teacher's Contract Dispute Could Be Appointed Soon

At its September 18 meeting, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board will consider the district's request for a fact-finder.

In what could be viewed as a small step towards resolution in , the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) has agreed to consider the district’s request it appoint a mediator to help settle the conflict.

According to a release from the Phoenixville Area School District, the PLRB will mull the district's request at its September 18 meeting. 

The Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation, an agency that acts as a go-between for the district and the PLRB, told the district that it should meet with the union again before this meeting. The district indicated it would honor the request.

If appointed, the fact-finder would have 40 days to take oral and written testimony from both sides and produce a non-binding recommendation. The union and the district would then have ten days to either accept or reject the entirety of the proposal. If either party rejects the proposal, the negotiations will continue.

According to The Mercury, the Phoenixville Area Education Association, the body that represents the district's teachers, has already made it clear they're not interested in third-party involvement.

“The [Phoenixville Area Education Association] is very disappointed that the district chose this path. [The Phoenixville Area Education Association] believes that after 30 months of negotiations, we were within one bargaining session of settlement,” union spokesman Ruthann Waldie said.

The previous CBA expired on June 30, 2010, but, in accordance with Pennsylvania law, both parties are bound by the terms of the old deal until a new one is struck.

DJ2 September 06, 2012 at 10:01 AM
Just out of curiosity, who pays for the salary for this mediator? As a state employee, aren't they paid through tax dollars? Slanika has said they need "one extra set of eyes". Therefore, aren't we using tax payers dollars to do the job that we elected this school board to do? Seems a little ironic, huh? Gilligan: You have to stop telling people they should run for school board if they have criticisms. Either you are on the school board, or you are being a bit hypocritical. I'm also still waiting for you source or a citation on this $45 cadilac plan you always reference, especially since you can give no more details on it in our last debate except a "trust me". Is this a percentage? If so, since the cost of a plan goes up every year, what year did you base your numbers off of? Districts always agree on a percentage, not a set amount. Is it $45 for this year? last? Is this the only plan they offer? Is a married person with a family paying the same amount as a single person? You have claimed it is in the contract and that you've seen it. You must know these details, right? Harry: Can you give us more bibliographical information about that link? It's an interesting read that is so slanted in many places that I would be curious to find out more about it. Honestly, my interpretation of the PLRB's response is they feel the sides are very close and they might not be needed at this point. Otherwise, I would like to think they would be acting a bit faster and stronger.
harry finster September 08, 2012 at 03:00 AM
you have had a jerry sandusky person in your school who instead of sexually abusing kids.he hit,kicked,punched,twisted arms which had been in a cast ,poked pencils in hands he did all this with the tacit approval of the school and in fact was put in your (what should be called wall of shame )
Joe Smith September 13, 2012 at 02:41 PM
the teachers are like spoiled kids they are a bunch of lazy slugs lets bring on vouchers!!!!
Joe Smith September 13, 2012 at 02:44 PM
the college degree they get isn't even worthy of being called a degree they take so many basic classes and fundamentals classes it is almost the same as going to a trade school let em strike, bring in replacement people for 1/3 the cost
Gilligan September 13, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Big Joe. I like most teachers. Their union is the problem. Totally out of touch with reality. You cannot fire a teacher for financial reasons. It's tough to fire them for any reason, but you def can't for financial reasons.

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