Duquesne teachers revisit bargaining process
Duquesne Education Association and the district's administration are revisiting the collective bargaining process with talks of potential arbitration.
Teachers announced a strike on Friday afternoon and called it off before classes resumed on Monday.
The district planned to operate Duquesne Education Center on Monday and Tuesday without the teachers being present, but the union released a weekend statement that called that option “unsafe.”
After a full day of classes on Monday, teachers met with administrators and district officials.
“We exchanged proposals,” Pennsylvania State Education Association UniServ representative Dan Carey said. “Each side presented a proposal that was slightly different than what they proposed before, but nothing has seriously changed.”
Duquesne Education Association and the district's leadership have been negotiating a contract extension since their formal agreement expired at the start of the 2012-13 school year for 35 professional staff including 20 classroom teachers, along with academic coaches, a guidance counselor, a psychologist and a nurse.
Their stalemate has been based on weighing teacher requests against the district's legal obligation to improve its financial and educational status.
With the district in a state of educational and financial recovery, wages were frozen in 2012-13. Because of that, staff members said they have lost a full step increase on the wage scale.
The March issuance of a third-party fact-finding report revealed that the district's court-appointed receiver, Paul B. Long, proposed tying teacher wages to student performance increases in reading and math scores on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment standardized tests. Teachers unanimously opposed that proposal and all others that tie wages to student performance.
“The receiver is adamant that he has to be able to tie this to some sort of external measure, whatever that may be,” Carey said. “The association is adamantly opposed to that.”
Carey explained the only remaining option to resolve a contract stalemate within collective bargaining law is arbitration, which is achieved through a strike or through a mutual agreement to seek arbitration.
There will be at least one more collective bargaining session before students' scheduled return in August. Arbitration was discussed on Monday and will be discussed throughout the summer, Carey said.
“There was some discussion about the nonbinding arbitration process, whether that's something that may help,” he said. “There was no decision made, but we are going to discuss it further.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge reopens to traffic after electrical fire
- Mon Valley police departments vary on use of heroin overdose antidote
- Ex-Port Vue police chief recognized
- McKeesport council approves mineral rights lease under Renzie Park
- Forward man accused of molesting 6-year-old waives case to higher court
- McKeesport council OKs cities plan
- West Elizabeth residents oppose sewage tank plan