Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Several Districts Still "Unsettled"

The Pennsylvania State Education Association says it has a long list of school districts that have opened the school year with “unsettled” contracts. PSEA Spokesperson Butch Santacola says among the most critical at this time is the Allegheny Valley School District. He says the school board is looking at calculations based on the current proposal that are wrong, “not the whole board but there is one particular board member that is controlling this factor and his figures are wrong and it is causing real serious problems in Allegheny Valley.” Santacola says teachers in that district have authorized a strike but he hopes they can resolve the math issues soon. Teachers in the Karns City School District in Butler county had set September 1st as a strike date but have put that on hold and have agreed to enter into non-binding arbitration. Santacola says he expects that to take about 40 days. West Allegheny and Moon Area have also take strike votes. Other districts in Allegheny County that have unresolved contracts include Riverview, South Fayette, Avonworth, South Park, Brentwood Clairton and the Pittsburgh alternative Education program. In Somerset County the list includes Yurkeyfoot Valley Area, and Shade-Central. Santacola says then next month will be critical for many of the districts. “I think another month from now we will be looking at some real serious situations if we can’t get these things resolved.” However, he notes this is a tough time to be in contract talks. “I can’t very well go anywhere without out people bringing up that issue,” Says Santacola, “We are aware of it and that might be a good reason why people are not on strike at this time, because they recognize the economic difficulties out there.” Santacola says at the same time, teachers do not want to take a step back to a time of “take backs.”

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