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Pennsbury Contract Negotiations Have 'Positive Tone'

Union officials met with Pennsbury School District officials last week to discuss contract negotiations.

Pennsbury Contract Negotiations Have 'Positive Tone'

From the Pennsbury School District:

On the evening of January 30, 2013, the Chief Negotiator for the Pennsbury School Board met with representatives of the District’s support staff union, the Pennsbury Educational Support Professionals Association (PESPA). The 600+ employees in PESPA have been working under the terms of an expired contract since June, 2011. The last negotiation session held between the two parties occurred on November 28, 2012.

According to Chief Negotiator, Jeffrey Sultanik, the session had a “positive tone” and was spent mostly going over language proposals by both parties. “Working collaboratively, we arrived at approximately 22 tentative agreements on contract language,” he said. “The majority of the remaining contract language issues have economic implications,” he added, and these will be addressed at subsequent bargaining sessions scheduled for February 21st and April 3rd. “We still need to face the difficult economic issues that separate the parties and the obvious challenge will be to see whether or not we can reduce District labor costs to more closely resemble what could be achieved through subcontracting the work of the bargaining unit.”

During a portion of the two-and-a-half-hour meeting, Mr. Sultanik discussed the status of the District’s review of vendor proposals for Instructional and Non-Instructional Paraprofessionals and Aides as well as IT Support Technicians. Mr. Sultanik said that the administration will now begin to analyze these most recent vendor proposals and review them in more detail with the Association on or before the next session on February 21st. At the November meeting, the District shared data gathered from vendor proposals for transportation and cleaning services.

Two Pennsbury administrators attended the bargaining session with Mr. Sultanik to answer questions if needed. They were Human Resources Director, Bettie Ann Rarrick, and Financial Services Director, Joanne Godzieba. Present at the meeting to represent PESPA were UNISERV representatives Greg Moll and Brad Gross, PESPA President Gary McClure, and PESPA members Marla Lipkin, Denise Hacker, and Brian Russell. State Mediator John Cairns was also in attendance.

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