The ongoing contract dispute between the Phoenixville Area School District and its teachers union took place on a bigger stage than usual on Thursday.
According to The Mercury, tensions were high in the high school auditorium, as over 100 educators wore black PASD shirts to the school board meeting to protest the district’s proposal to reduce seven currently full-time teaching positions to part-time.
The paper is reporting that the change would affect physical education and foreign language teachers at the high school and middle school. These teachers would keep their benefits, but lose a portion of their salary. Phantom football coach Bill Furlong would, reportedly, be one of the teachers impacted.
While union representatives said the ongoing negotiations have caused a large strain on district teachers—“No words can describe the dismay felt by the staff over the past few weeks,” said PAEA representative Catherine Renzulli, according to the paper—the teachers were unwilling to accept the recommendations of a mediator assigned to the case. And despite the fact that, according to the paper, on 11 of the 12 issues in contention the mediator sided with the teachers, the union is also unwilling to use the report as the groundwork for future negotiations.
The district seems eager to come to terms.
“We feel it is time to settle,” school board president Josh Gould told the paper. “This has gone on long enough.”
According to district community relations coordinator Sandra Claus, the two groups have scheduled negotiation dates for May 15 and May 28.
Read the full story here.
Previous reporting on the CBA negotiations:
- School District: We'll Resume CBA Talks on Feb. 26
- On the (Non) Deal: Teachers Union Releases Statement on CBA Progress
- PASD School Board: Teachers Union Balked at New CBA Offer
- The New CBA That Wasn't: Fact Finder's PASD Recommendations Released
- Phoenixville School Board Rejects Fact-Finders' CBA Recommendation
- Update: Fact-Finder Appointed in Teacher's CBA Dispute
- Mediator in Teachers' Contract Dispute Could Be Appointed Soon