Following a costly appeal by the Twin Valley School District, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board upheld a prior decision that the district committed multiple unfair labor practices, including anti-union retaliation and failure to bargain terms and conditions of employment.

The union represents district paraprofessionals, secretaries, cafeteria staff, and custodial and maintenance workers.

The union alleged that district administrators retaliated against union members when they ended a decades-long practice of allowing second-shift custodial workers to work first-shift during the summer months.

The district also transferred the local union president, Donald Refford Jr., to a different building shortly after he filed grievances for unrelated matters. The original decision was handed down by hearing examiner Jack Marino in March, however, the district filed exceptions challenging that ruling.

Jesika Steuerwalt, staff attorney for the Pennsylvania State Education Association who represents the union in this matter said, “We are pleased with the PLRB’s final order. This process helps to ensure that employers comply with the law for the benefit of employees.”

Barry DeWitt, a representative for the Pennsylvania State Education Association said, “It has been disappointing to watch the Twin Valley School District spend taxpayer dollars defending actions that have twice been ruled illegal. These are taxpayer resources that would be better spent on students.”

According to the PLRB ruling, the district has five days to comply with the order, including posting the decision to be accessible to district employees. The district has given PSEA no indication on whether it plans to follow the ruling or lodge yet another appeal.

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