Bethel Park School Board accepts fact-finding, too

Published Oct 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm (Updated Oct 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm)

The Bethel Park School Board accepted the fact-finding report from the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in executive session Oct. 9. The recommendations in the fact-finder were also accepted by the Bethel Park Federation of Teachers two days earlier.

The report will now serve as a basis for a contract between the federation and district. The contract would run through June 30, 2016.

According to Bethel Park Director of Public Relations Vicki Flotta, because the board voted yes for the report, it won’t be taking any official action until the contract is finalized and ready to be signed. Additionally, until both sides sign a formal agreement, the district will not release any specifics.

Expectations are that the formal contract will be signed by both parties in the near future.

The prior agreement expired on June 30, 2010, with the district and teachers in continuous negotiations since April 2010. In addition to the face-to-face negotiations, the process also included a final best offer non-binding arbitration in 2010 after a six week strike by the teachers in October 2010; fact-finding at the teachers’ request in March 2012, which ended with both sides rejecting those recommendations; and this latest round of fact-finding, requested by the district on August 21, 2013.

“The acceptance of the fact-finding report represents countless hours of hard work by both parties,” said Bethel Park School Board President Donna Cook. “We are pleased to have a report that is agreeable to both parties, that is fair to the taxpayers of Bethel Park, and most importantly, a fact-finding Report that is beneficial to the children of our community.”

“We recognize the past three years have posed challenges for our staff and created a strain on our community, school board and administrators,” explained Bethel Park Superintendent Nancy Aloi Rose. “We are grateful to see an end to the negotiations process and we look forward to renewing our focus on providing the best possible education for our students.

“We are appreciative that our teaching staff worked diligently to put the contract issues aside during this prolonged negotiations process to focus on the needs of the students. We appreciate their commitment to providing quality education for our students.”

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