Despite objection by the Twin Valley School District, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board on Tuesday, Nov. 20, overruled district oppositions and appointed Fact-finder Thomas Leonard, Esq., to help settle a contract dispute between the Twin Valley School District and the Twin Valley Educational Support Personnel Association.

The union representing district paraprofessionals, secretaries, cafeteria staff and custodial and maintenance workers made the request of the labor board in October. Those employees have been working without a contract for about six months.

Barry DeWitt, a representative for the Pennsylvania State Education Association said, “It is counterintuitive for the district to claim it is making a fair offer yet do everything in its power to keep out a third-party neutral to help settle the contract. Union members know they have made a reasonable proposal with numerous concessions. This is why we welcome Fact-finder Leonard to come in to recommend a contract that is fair for all sides. It is a shame the district has not been as welcoming.”

A hearing will take place within the next 40 days. At the conclusion of the hearing, the fact-finder will make a written recommendation on what he believes is the most fair agreement. Once this recommendation is received, both sides (union members as well as the Twin Valley School Board) will have to vote on whether to accept the fact-finder’s impartial recommendation.

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