SASD contract talks going well, both sides say
COAL TOWNSHIP - The Shamokin Area School Board and the district teachers haven't yet agreed on a new contract, but representatives from both sides say they agree that negotiations have been pleasant and productive.
Charles Shuey, chair of the school board's negotiating committee, said Tuesday he doesn't expect a collective bargaining agreement to be ratified in the immediate future. But he said the "positive" tone of the last bargaining session has him believing there won't be a work stoppage, either.
"There's no danger at this point that there's going to be a strike," Charles Shuey, chair of the school board's negotiating committee, said Tuesday. "At this point, we're doing well. I hope it continues, this spirit of cooperation and give and take."
The Shamokin Area Education Association had voted in the spring to authorize the use of a strike. Mark McDade, the union's representative to the Pennsylvania State Education Association, announced Monday that teachers in Line Mountain will strike this school year.
As to Shamokin Area's negotiations, McDade agreed with Shuey on the positive tone. "The bargaining session was both cordial and productive," McDade said Tuesday by e-mail.
It's a change in attitude following reports in April of abrupt endings to bargaining sessions and frustrations expressed both by McDade and Shuey.
Shamokin Area teachers have been working under the terms of an expired contract for more than one year. Negotiations began in January and both sides have made proposals. The next session will be held Sept. 9, one week after the first day of school Sept. 2.