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Easton School Board Rejects Teacher Grievance

Easton Area teachers union president says arbitration is next over cutting 18 teaching positions in July.

The Easton Area School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to reject a grievance from the teachers union to reinstate 18 positions that were cut in July.

The board made the decision on the grievance without any public discussion.

But Jena Brodhead, the teachers union president, said the battle is not over.

"We'll move forward to arbitration," she said after the nearly two-hour meeting.

The school board had held a hearing Sept. 10 to listen to the grievance, which stated that the teaching positions were eliminated in violation of the collective bargaining agreement.

At its July 10 meeting, after an executive session lasting more than two hours, the school board voted to slash 17 middle school teachers and a middle school asisstant principal.

That decision was also made without any public discussion.

Brodhead argued that the positions were cut solely for financial reasons. Teacher positions, under the state education code, cannot be cut unless programs are altered or curtailed, schools are consolidated or the district is reorganized.

Following that July meeting, school officials stated that the cuts were made to reduce a major budget deficit.

Those cuts caught most offguard since the school board had already made staff reductions in May of 102 employees and 49 teachers.

The changes had some teachers not knowing their assignments two weeks before school's start.

At Tuesday's meeting, some school leaders complained to the board about coping with larger class sizes and coming to grips with dwindling personnel.

Brodhead said she was not surprised by the board's decision.

"It is what it is," she said. "They make the decisions."

louis kootsares September 19, 2012 at 03:47 PM
teachers teach.. cut administration, they are do nothings ,they do trip over each other,are overpaid,and collect great pensions ..but we still need mandatory drug testing.. we care more about our sewage than our students.. in pen argyl the sewer workers are drug tested what school district has drug testing?

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