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Both sides relieved contract negotiations are over

Waynesboro Area School District to begin new contract talks in January

June 21, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — The Waynesboro Area School District might have a new teachers contract, but seats at the bargaining table will not be vacant for long.

Bargaining teams for the school board and teachers union will start negotiating another contract in January. The settlement reached this week covers only 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13.

That deal took 2 1/2 years to develop.

“I hope the next time is different,” said Mike Engle, president of the Waynesboro Area Education Association.

Engle, who wanted the contract to cover another two to three years, said Friday will be the first morning he does not wake up and calculate in his mind the number of days since the last contract expired.

“It’ll be a far more enjoyable start to the school year to not have to worry about a contract for a few months,” he said.

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“My focus now can be on things that affect everyday lives of the students instead of worrying about what is happening with the contract,” school board member Rita Daywalt said.

Nothing necessarily special happened in the past few weeks to finally bring about an agreement, Engle said.

The negotiations are a good example of how two sides very far apart can work together to accomplish a goal, Daywalt said. Both sides continually considered the students, she said.

The next contract’s bargaining likely will have fewer items to debate, and it will continue to be affected by the economy, Daywalt said.

“I think the teachers union and the board have a crystal-clear understanding now after 30 months on the issues,” she said. “I do not believe it will drag out next time.”

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