The Twin Valley School Board voted 6-0 on Monday night to reject the recommendations of fact-finder Thomas Leonard to settle the district support staff contract. This marks the second time in as many weeks that the board has said “no” to the fact-finder’s recommendations. Support staff union members previously voted 70-2 to accept the proposal.

In November, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board appointed Attorney Leonard to the case in order to help resolve the contract stalemate between the district and the Support Staff Association.

According to Barry DeWitt, union representative for the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the district has “…put forth multiple proposals that include archaic and offensive cuts to the support staff across the board, including nearly doubling the cost of employee healthcare for the few support staff employees who actually qualify for insurance.”

Also, on Monday night, the Twin Valley School Board voted “yes” to accept a contract extension for the teachers. The extension, by comparison, calls for no increase to healthcare premiums for the teachers.

According to the association, many of these support staff workers make around $10 per hour, with no medical insurance, no sick time, and no other fringe benefits. Association President, Donald Refford Jr. commented, “The fact that the Twin Valley School Board has twice said no to the neutral recommendation of an unbiased third party very clearly shows that they have no desire to settle our contract. It is a sad time to be a support staff worker at Twin Valley. We work hard every day and deserve to be treated with respect.”

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