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In Second Vote, Phoenixville School Board Accepts CBA Recomendation

The board approved the proposal of an independent mediator by a 6-3 vote.

The collective bargaining disagreement might be drawing to a close.

In what could mark a détente in the ongoing CBA dispute between the Phoenixville Area School District and its teachers union, the school board voted 6-3 on November 12 to accept the recommendations of the independent mediator it requested.

On October 26, the board had rejected the same proposal by a 6-2 vote and on November 1 the Phoenixville Area Education Association did the same.

In accordance with the terms of the appointment of the mediator, now that the school board has approved the recommendations in full, if the union follows suit, the new CBA will be put in place, ending over 30 months of negotiations.

It’s unclear how or when the association will vote. (A second vote on the recommendation is required by law.) A call to union spokesman Ruthann Waldie was not returned as of press time.

School board president Paul Slaninka said the board initially voted no because “there were some ambiguities in the report and we were not comfortable accepting it as written,” according to a release from the district.

Though Slaninka said the board never got the clarification it sought on specific points in fact finder Diana S. Mulligan’s proposal, it finally approved it to send a message to the union: it’s ready to get this done.

“[The education association] thought it was a good basis for a contract,” Slaninka told The Phoenix. “So let’s do it.”

Board members Joshua Gould, Kenneth Butera and Irfan Kahn voted against the recommendation.

Paul O'Leary November 14, 2012 at 05:13 PM
From what I read of the agreement, and from what I understand, I think that this is a good move by the Board.
Gilligan November 14, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I think the board is being more than generous. Read the fine print. The teacher's union has offered to pay 5% of their medical with the board countering at 7%. Most of us pay 30%. But wait. There's more. The union wants to keep dental, vision and other insurance at zero premium. Zero deductibles for medical and all insurance. Didn't see the copays, but lets just guess they're close to zero. What century does this union operate in?
DJ2 November 15, 2012 at 04:04 PM
I'm pretty sure it's the century where you should run for the school board, Gilligan. I love the argument of "I don't have something, so no one else should". Why don't we question why health care costs are increasing? Sounds like you need another place of employment, Gilligan. While I pay more than 5% towards my medical, I don't pay anywhere near 30%. Maybe you could be a teacher? I do however, feel the need to point out that many local school districts are forming and joining consortiums to lower medical costs. Is that something Phoenixville has looked into?

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