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Valley News Dispatch

Monroeville vo-tech teachers plan 'silent protest' as contract dispute drags on

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, 3:03 p.m.

Union teachers at a Monroeville vocational-technical school are planning a protest as their contract dispute with the school goes into a second school year.

Teachers at Forbes Road Career & Technology Center will hold a silent protest walk before the school’s open house Tuesday evening, the Pennsylvania State Education Association announced Monday.

The open house is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the school at 607 Beatty Road.

Teachers, members of the Forbes Road Career & Technical Center Education Association, will be meeting at 5:15 p.m., and then at 5:30 p.m. walking from CCAC at 595 Beatty Road to Forbes Road, the union said.

Forbes Road serves more than 700 students from Allegheny Valley, East Allegheny, Gateway, Highlands, Penn Hills, Plum, Riverview, and Woodland Hills.

The school is governed by a joint operating committee comprised of school board members from those districts. The last three-year contract for the school’s 32 teachers expired on June 30, 2017.

The union membership had accepted the terms of a fact finder’s report that would have served as the basis for a new work agreement; the joint operating committee rejected it.

“The Forbes Road CTC Joint Operating Committee has continuously bargained in bad faith, cancelled meetings, failed to initially vote on the fact finder’s determination and generally shown little interest in settling an expired contract,” PSEA spokesman Matt Edgell said in an email announcing the silent protest.”The lack of respect for the Forbes Road staff is obvious and no longer tolerable.”

Edward McMullen, director of vocational education at Forbes Road, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Forbes Road teachers continue to work, but a vote to authorize a strike is “on the horizon,” Edgell said, adding that the union will talk about it after Tuesday’s protest.

Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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