South Middleton teachers' union to request fact-finding - abc27 WHTM

Cumberland County

South Middleton teachers' union to request fact-finding

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The South Middleton Education Association plans on requesting fact-finding through the PA Labor Relations Board as a result of failed negotiations between the union and the school board.

The SMEA and the South Middleton School Board began negotiations on Dec. 22, 2011. They could not reach an agreement in regards to issues including salary, employee contributions toward health care, and employees' ability to keep their spouses on health insurance.

The request will be made at the Labor Board's Jan. 15 meeting.

"We're disappointed that an agreeable resolution has not been reached. We are very hopeful that through the fact-finding process a settlement can be reached. It has been a long process," said Mike Freese, chief negotiator for the 181-member SMEA.

If fact-finding is awarded, the process will last for 40 days. The PA Labor Relations Board will appoint a neutral third party to listen to presentations from both sides.

The fact-finder will then make recommendations for a resolution to negotiations. The parties may then accept or reject those negotiations.

The SMEA is an affiliate of the PA State Education Association and the National Education Association.

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