BP teachers accept fact-finder recommendations

Published Oct 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm (Updated Oct 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm)

The Bethel Park Federation of Teachers accepted the fact-finder recommendations from the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

“An agreement allows the district and the union to put this protracted negotiation behind us and refocus our attention on providing Bethel Park students with the best education possible,” said BPFT President Diann Smith.

If the school board accepts them, too, then this could be the foundation for a new contract. The old agreement expired more than three years ago.

According to Bethel Park Director of Public Relations Vicki Flotta, the board can either approve or reject the findings. The board will meet in executive session Wednesday night, Oct. 9 and then notify the fact-finder regarding its decision. The board will then have 10 days to schedule a public meeting and vote on its decision.

Whether the board approves or rejects the recommendations, they will be published on the PLRB’s website.

The report contains recommendations on items such as salaries and benefits as well as length and number of workdays.

If both sides agree with the recommendations, then they will become the base for a contract that runs June 30, 2010, through June 30, 2016.

The school district and the teacher’s union have been negotiating since 2010 over a new agreement. Both sides have endured a six-week strike in 2010, non-binding arbitration in 2011, and another fact-finder report at the union’s request in 2012. All attempts failed to bring the two sides together, particularly on the issues of salaries and health benefits.

“We were disappointed with the negative impact that some of the fact-finder’s recommendations will have on the students in Bethel Park,” Smith said.

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