Saturday, December 4, 2010

Classes Resume Monday in Bethel Park

Some progress was reported in contract talks Friday between negotiators for the Bethel Park School District and the Bethel Park Federation of Teachers. Walter Michalski, a member of the union's negotiating team, says another bargaining session has been scheduled for Wednesday.

In the meantime, the nearly 400 teachers will end their 6 week long strike and return to the classrooms Monday.

Michalski said it's very hard to say that any "true progress" occurred during the work stoppage because "nothing has been signed off. The parties have continued to discuss. That's the most positive thing to come out of this. The parties are still working at it and trying to get this done."

Under state law, (Act 88) the Bethel Park teachers are required to return to work Monday in order to get in the mandatory 180 class days. The end of the strike triggers mandatory, non-binding arbitration in an effort to reach a new contract. Michalski says the arbitration process could last till mid to late January and during that period there cannot be another strike.

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