Editor's note: This information has been provided by the Wissahickon School District.
The Wissahickon School Board’s efforts to force a bargaining session on the Wissahickon Education Alliance - Support (WEA-S) with the hopes of averting an October 29th support staff strike has worked; the work stoppage is now cancelled.
While the School Board’s original intention was to meet with the WEA and state mediator John Cairnes yesterday afternoon, when the WEA-S did not show up for the meeting, an alternative plan was developed with the support of Pennsylvania Director William Gross, of the Department of Labor and Industry. Under the new negotiation plan, the WEA-S has agreed to cancel Monday’s work stoppage and commit to a 45-day “cooling off period” during which no job action would occur. A November 29th session has been scheduled and both the School Board’s chief negotiator and negotiators for the WEA-S have agreed to attend.
"We teach our children to compromise, to work through their issues," stressed School Board President Young Park. "In agreeing to cancel its work stoppage I am hopeful that this is a sign that the WEA-S recognizes the importance of compromise as well.”
The Wissahickon School Board had planned to use today’s negotiation session to collaborate with union leaders to bridge the $1.8 million dollar cost. "The union continues to push for a plan which provides full-time benefits to employees who only work 4-hours a day. It is an incredibly costly plan that Wissahickon and its taxpayers cannot entertain," explained chief negotiator Jeffrey Sultanik. “The School Board is hopeful that the WEA-S uses the time between now and our November 29th session to craft a realistic plan for reaching a settlement.”
As negotiations continue, updates will be posted by the District at www.wsdweb.org.