The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 22, 2013

Contract talks to resume in Warrior Run School District

By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item

— TURBOTVILLE — The Warrior Run Education Association has suspended its “working to rule” status, which encouraged teachers not to arrive early for the school day and to not stay after classes ended.

The association received a request from the school district’s lawyer, Benjamin Pratt, to suspend the “working to rule” and come back to the bargaining table, something the group was happy to do, said Michael Freeborn, union president.

“The board asked the association to end ‘working to rule,’ which they stated ‘would go a long way toward settling the contract,’” Freeborn said in a statement Monday. “We look forward to meeting with the board and agree to suspend ‘working to rule’ until reviewing the school board’s new proposal at our next meeting.”

The status was put in place late last year to show the extra work teachers do in the district, according to the statement.

But now the association is prepared to get back to the bargaining table, said Alison Fortunato, co-chief negotiator for the Warrior Run Education Association.

“Both sides are anxious to get this done,” she said.

Pratt agreed, saying that the district agreed to suspend its request for fact-finding to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

“We showed a good faith effort on our part and we asked the association to do the same by removing the ‘working to rule’ status,” said Pratt, who works with the York-based CGA Law Firm.

The two parties still have a variety of issues to work out during negotiations, Pratt said. Health care, salaries and hours are among the topics under contention.

The teachers contract expired in June 2011.

Pratt said he was happy to hear the association is coming back to the bargaining table.

“I’m glad to hear that they have agreed to lift that status and hope that we can continue good dialogue and get this solved sooner rather than later,” he said.