ShareThis Page
News

Brentwood teachers walk to show solidarity; teachers in 10 districts lack contracts

| Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, 1:54 p.m.
While continuing to work under an old contract, Brentwood teachers walk to school in unison Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, to show they 'stand together.'
Keith Hodan | Trib Total Media
While continuing to work under an old contract, Brentwood teachers walk to school in unison Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, to show they 'stand together.'
While continuing to work under an old contract, Brentwood teachers walk to school in unison, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, to show they 'stand together.'
Keith Hodan | Trib Total Media
While continuing to work under an old contract, Brentwood teachers walk to school in unison, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, to show they 'stand together.'
After Brentwood teachers walked to school in unison, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, to show they 'stand together, ' middle school math teacher Lynne Golvash answers questions from the media.
Keith Hodan | Trib Total Media
After Brentwood teachers walked to school in unison, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, to show they 'stand together, ' middle school math teacher Lynne Golvash answers questions from the media.

Teachers in the Brentwood Borough School District walked into school Friday morning en masse as a sign of solidarity.

A five-year contract between the Brentwood Education Association and the district ended June 30, and teachers said negotiations are stagnant. The two parties have not met since Aug. 3. No dates are set for further negotiations. There are 96 teachers in the association.

“We really want to get back to the table,” Brentwood Education Association President Mary Agnes Galvin said. “We want to get this contract done because we want to concentrate on what is going on in our classrooms. We don't want to have to worry about a contract.”

Brentwood is one of about 10 school districts in Allegheny County where teachers are working under expired contracts, said Matt Edgell, regional advocacy coordinator with the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

He credits the high number of outstanding teacher contracts in Allegheny County and statewide to the state budget impasse.

“They understand that there's a budget stalemate in Harrisburg, which is affecting every bargaining table in every district in the state,” Edgell said. “There are other, noneconomic issues that they'd like to discuss. It's not that the district is bargaining in bad faith, they don't think that at all.”

Brentwood leaders said a lack of a state budget contributes to their negotiations, but is not a defining factor.

“We're not expecting that to be a saving grace,” school board negotiation committee Chairman Gary Topolosky said. Brentwood asked its teachers to take a wage freeze and pay more for health care costs, Topolosky said.

“They countered that with something that was unacceptable,” he said.

The superintendent and business manager took a pay freeze for 2015-16 and seven top administrators gave back a portion of their raises with agreements to take a freeze in 2016-17, Superintendent Amy Burch said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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.

click me