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Phoenixville School Board Rejects Fact-Finders' CBA Recommendation

By a 6-2 vote, the board passed on the advice of the independent mediator it requested.

It’s back to the drawing board for the Phoenixville Area School District and its teachers after the school board, by a 6-2 vote, rejected the recommendations of an independent mediator that was assigned to help end the ongoing CBA dispute.

“The Board is not comfortable accepting the report and recommendations at this time,” board president Paul Slaninka said after the October 26 vote, according to a press release from the district.

The board will now, in accordance with Pennsylvania law, hold a second vote on the recommendation sometime between November 6 and November 11. The public vote has not yet been scheduled.

Frustrated by the pace of its negotiations with the Phoenixville Area Education Association—the union and the school board have been attempting to come to terms on a new CBA for over 30 months—the school board made a request in August to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) to appoint an independent fact finder to the case.

The mediator would conduct a hearing, interrogate both parties, and make a non-binding recommendation on the terms of a new contract within 40 days of her appointment. For the recommendation to take effect, both the school board and the union would have to accept it in its entirety within ten days.

On September 18, the PLRB appointed Diana S. Mulligan to the case. Mulligan conducted a hearing on October 12 and issued a report to the school board and the union on October 22.

It’s unclear what the school board found objectionable about the recommendation, as its contents will be confidential until they’re released by the PLRB.

The Phoenixville Area Education Association, according to union spokesman Ruthann Waldie, will be voting on the recommendation the evening of November 1.

JK November 02, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Bill - how about seeing the report before you pass judgement on the school board?
DJ2 November 02, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Based on your comments, you clearly have not passed judgement on any party, either.
Kevin P. November 03, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Gilligan, Yes, I did vote no and I did so simply because I found the fact finders recommendations to be fair. Keep in mind it was the district that requested fact finding and now the district has said no to the recommendations. If you want to know more come to the meetings and ask board members why they are making the decisions they are making. As for me being a teacher, when I am attending board meetings and representing the district I am a board member doing what is in the best interest of the district, I am not a teacher advocating for teachers unions. As a teacher I can bring an inside look at how the educational process works. As of today you can see for yourself what both sides asked for and what the fact finder recommends. Finally, if you feel that dissatisfied with the board you can always throw your hat in the ring.
Gilligan November 04, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Kevin P. Where can we see the results from the factfinders that you reference?
K November 05, 2012 at 04:42 PM
PASD website has all the information.

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