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Mediator to intervene in contract talks

May 22, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Contract talks between the Waynesboro Area School District and the bargaining team representing the system's 270 teachers have broken down to the point where a state mediator has been called.

The three-year contract that members of the Waynesboro Area Education Association have been working under expires June 30, said association President Michael Engle.

Engle, a biology teacher at Waynesboro Area Senior High School, said negotiations on a new contract began in January. He said any recommendations from the mediator would be non-binding on either party.

"The mediator will act as a go-between," Engle said.

The mediator was requested from the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board and will meet with the negotiators on Tuesday, said Robert Mesaros, superintendent of schools.

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Salaries and language in the proposed new contract are the main issues keeping the talks at a standstill, Mesaros said.

Both sides have agreed to continue the talks through the summer, Mesaros said. The current contract will stay in effect, he said.

Engle said the teachers could return to work in September under terms in the current contract if a new agreement is not reached by then.

Teachers in Waynesboro went on strike over a contract dispute in 1992. The strike lasted four days, Engle said.

Talks on the current contract went more smoothly than those in 1992 and those now under way.

According to Engle, an agreement was reached on the existing contract in March of 1995, two months after the talks began.

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