The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 6, 2013

Danville School Board rejects fact-finders report

By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News

— DANVILLE — School board members voted 8-0 Tuesday to reject a state-appointed fact-finder’s report, effectively resetting negotiations with the district’s teachers union.

Voting no were board President Allan Schappert, Vice President David Weader and members Dawn Koons-Gill, Barbara Bickhart, Gregg Campbell, Steven Schooley, Joe Stemm and Jamie Hosterman. Member Christopher Outt was absent.

Schappert said details about the board’s decision would be released in the next several days, after the fact-finder’s report is made public. He said the report “was unacceptable to the district.”

“It was deemed not in the best interest of our students or district to adopt the fact-finder’s report,” he said.

The report was meant to find a compromise between the district and the teachers union. The teachers have been working without a contract since July. They are operating under the terms of the old contract, Schappert said, save that there is no cap on tuition reimbursement. Under the expired contract, the cap was $75,000.

The district was not given the option of adopting some parts of the report, but not others. “It’s an either-or thing. … You either accept the entire report or reject the entire report,” Schappert said.

The union will vote on the report by Thursday, he said.

Regardless of the outcome of the teachers’ vote, the two groups will need to return to the bargaining table. No date was set for renewed talks.

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board likely will post the report for the public on its website Thursday or Friday, Schappert said. He also would like to post it on the school board’s homepage.