Waynesboro teachers contract talks continue with more planned

May 20, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Ongoing teacher negotiations in the Waynesboro Area School District now involve a retired schools superintendent acting as mediator.

The teachers’ union, Waynesboro Area Education Association, met with former Fairfield (Pa.) Area School District Superintendent Gary Miller on Thursday and Friday, according to its spokesman.

The school board met with Miller briefly late last week and has another session scheduled for Tuesday, board member Chris Lind said.

Scheduling issues prevented a meeting Saturday as initially discussed, Lind said Sunday.

“We’re trying to get things together to see if there are any alternatives” to existing proposals, Lind said.

Union President Mike Engle criticized the board for not meeting sooner with Miller, considering the school board first proposed working with him.

“If the board comes (to a session) willing to compromise, this could be solved in a few hours. If they insist on having everything their way, it could drag out for another 30 months,” Engle said in an email Sunday.

The two sides first met at the bargaining table in early 2010, before the last teacher contract expired June 30, 2010. They most recently disagreed on recommendations in a state fact-finder’s report, which could have served as the basis for a new contract.

The approximately 278 teachers have taken two votes to authorize a strike, although no dates have been announced for a possible strike.

Under Pennsylvania law, the teachers could strike only for a number of days that would not cause school to be in session later than June 15. Teachers are required to give the school district 48 hours notice before a strike.

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