ShareThis Page
New Kensington-Arnold teachers union reports ‘setback’ in contract talks | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

New Kensington-Arnold teachers union reports ‘setback’ in contract talks

Tom Davidson
1167302_web1_vnd-NewKenArnold-021319
New Kensington-Arnold School District

New Kensington-Arnold School District and its teachers union failed to reach an agreement on a new contract during a bargaining session Wednesday night.

The two sides can’t even agree on who was involved in the latest negotiations.

“No school board members attended the scheduled bargaining session,” New Kensington-Arnold Education Association spokesman Phil Cope said in a statement. “This resulted in an unfortunate setback for we were unable to come to an agreement on contract language.”

Superintendent John Pallone told the Tribune-Review on Thursday that Cope’s assessment was “absolutely a fallacy.”

“That’s not true,” Pallone said. “We met with negotiators. We are continuing to make progress.”

Pallone’s brother, Robert Pallone, president of the school board, didn’t return a message seeking comment.

The superintendent refused to say who attended the latest negotiations session.

“We’re not discussing that,” he said.

John Pallone said the district didn’t see any of the teachers union’s leaders and instead dealt with a negotiator from the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the larger union representing the teachers.

“They have no idea,” John Pallone said of the union’s statement admonishing the school board.

According to Cope, the teachers had a meeting of rank-and-file members Tuesday in preparation to gauge what the membership would accept in a contract.

He said, “We were really hoping on Wednesday night” that an agreement could be reached.

The teachers have been working without a contract for more than 600 days. Both sides have previously said they’re making progress.

Three other negotiations in April and May, all attended by school board members, were fruitful and there was a tentative agreement on a pay freeze and an increase in health care contributions, Cope said in the statement.

But there’s still no deal.

“We encourage the school board of directors to resume negotiations at the next bargaining session on June 17,” Cope said.

There are 161 teachers and staff represented by the union.

Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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.