We have been following the Unionville-Chadds Ford (U-CF) School District this week; their ongoing teacher contract negotiations and independent fact-finding report. (The teacher’s contract expired last June). The school board voted unanimously to accept the report and the school district union, Unionville-Chadds Ford Education Association voted not to accept. How long can the teachers continue to work without a contract? Until a new contract is signed, do the teachers work under the conditions of the old contract? If both sides are at a stalemate, I am curious what the next step is.
Teachers in Montgomery County’s Perkiomen Valley School District have likewise been working without a contract since last June. The school board and the teachers union in this Collegeville school district also received a fact-finding report from the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board last month. Like U-CF school board, the Perkiomen Valley School Board unanimously approved the fact-finding report; and like the U-CF teacher’s union, their union, Perkiomen Valley Education Association (PVEA) rejected the fact-finding report. The report recommended a three-year contract, with an average in $6.564 in raises over the three years and changes in the amount teachers are reimbursed for tuition.
Negotiations between school administrators and the teachers union reached an impasse. Late today, the teachers in the Perkiomen Valley School District gave notice that they intend to strike next week if no deal is reached this weekend. The PVEA issued a 48-hour strike notice, which means a strike could begin on Tuesday.
The teachers’ union and school administrators in Perkiomen Valley School District are meeting with a state mediator over the next few days in homes of reaching a “fair and reasonable” settlement. I visited the PVEA union website and it was interesting to note that the Perkiomen Valley School District has spent $55K to date on legal fees regarding the current teacher contract negotiations.
I am certain that the administration and teachers in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District are closely monitoring the strike threat in Collegeville.
Is this a sign of our times or evidence of what is to come . . . ?