Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board

T/E School District Teacher Contract Update … Special Meetings to Consider Fact Finder’s Report

Back on June 19, the contract negotiations between the T/E School District and the teachers union, Tredyffrin Easttown Education Association (TEEA) reached an impasse and both sides requested that the PA Labor Relations Board (PLRB) assign it to a ‘Fact Finder’. The neutral third-party was to review the proposals of TESD and TEEA and then make a recommendation.

On June 30, the contract deadline for the T/E teachers came and went with no new contract signed. As of July 1, the school district and the teachers union, TEEA entered the ‘status quo period. Status quo freezes the teacher’s salary at the 2011/12 salary until a new contract is signed. The teachers continue to receive their salary at the current rate until either (1) a strike or lockout within the terms the 1992 Act 88 or (2) they enter into a new contract. The teachers health care benefit plan remains intact (based on the expired contract term) during the status quo period.

The Fact Finder’s report was issued on July 30 and TESD and TEEA has 10 days to notify PLRB as to whether they accept or reject the report. The School Board and Administration are expressly prohibited from making any statements about the Fact Finder report until after PLRB releases it for publication. But PLRB will only release it for publication after either or both sides formally inform the PLRB that they are rejecting the report.

Here’s what I don’t understand – the School Board is holding two special meetings (August 9 and August 23) to consider the Fact Finder’s report. If the School Board is prohibited from making statements until the report is released and they only release it if one or both sides reject the report, how is it then possible that the School Board can now have special meetings to consider the report? Jeez, I must be missing something here on this process. Another question … is TEEA likewise prohibited from discussing the Fact Finder’s report. Keith Knauss, if you are reading Community Matters, can you help me understand how this process works.

I am curious, so I will attend this week’s special meeting on Thursday at 8 PM in the Tredyffrin Easttown Administration Office, 940 W. Valley Road, Wayne, PA.

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