I received the following press release Sunday morning from a Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) representative.
Tredyffrin/Easttown Education Association (TEEA) to Hold Informational Picket before September 25th School Board Meeting
What: Teachers and educators of the Tredyffrin/Easttown Education Association (TEEA) are holding an Informational Picket before the next School Board meeting to protest their lack of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The CBA expired, June 30, 2017 and both parties met one time over the entire summer. The membership is frustrated by the lack of progress in one of Pennsylvania’s premier school districts. Conestoga High Schools was recently ranked the best high school in all of Pennsylvania.
Who: Hundreds of Teachers, Parents and Educational staff of TESD School District.
Visual Highlights: Teachers will assemble prior to the School Board meeting, holding signs and marching and chanting for a new contract. Community members and families are invited.
When: Monday, September 25, 6:30 p.m. (Assemble) | 7:30 p.m. (meeting)
Where: Conestoga High School (200 Irish Rd, Berwyn, PA 19312)
Statement by TEEA President, Dr. Bob DeSipio:
“Our contract expired on July 1, 2017. Despite multiple offerings to meet with the School Board this summer to continue the negotiations process, we did not meet until the end of August. We want the School Board to know that it is not just the five or six of us on the bargaining team that are upset with the slow pace of these negotiations, but a membership of more than 400 highly educated and highly dedicated educators. We hope tonight’s Board meeting is a demonstration to the District that TEEA is resolute in our dedication to achieve a new agreement and want to reach a fair and competitive settlement as quickly as possible.”
Dr. DeSipio’s statement is confusing and unsettling – although the teachers’ contract expired June 30, 2017, the District held no negotiating meetings during the summer! No contract negotiation meetings between the District and the teachers union “until the end of August”! This makes no sense.
It is impossible for the community “to take a side” in the contract negotiation battle between the school district and the teachers union. Why? Because the taxpayers have received no information from either side about the offers/demands.
The teachers are asking for a “fair and competitive settlement” … wish I knew the offer on the table. The public cannot possibly know what is “fair” without knowing the contents of the offer.
The secret negotiations between the District and the teachers union once again underscore the need for transparency.
Getting the state union officials from PSEA involved, the T/E teachers will show solidarity with signs, marching and chanting on Monday night before the school board meeting. Working without a settled contract is difficult but isn’t this “informational picket” apt to make the contract negotiation situation more contentious?