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Plum School Board Rejects Fact-Finding Report

The school district and the secretaries union must continue negotiations for a new contract.

Twenty Plum Borough School District secretaries and administrative assistants will continue to work under the terms of an expired contract.

At a special meeting on Tuesday, the Plum School Board voted 6-1 to reject a fact finding report in regard to the Plum Borough Secretaries Educational Support Personnel Association contract, which expired July 30, 2011. Board member Loretta White dissented. Tom McGough and Joe Tommarello were absent.

Because both entities were not able to come up with an agreement, fact-finder Michael D. McDowell was appointed to review the situation and recommend a result.

A fact-finding hearing was held Aug. 17 at Plum High School. The following recommendations were made:

  • Wages be frozen in the 2011-12 school year, that they increase by 25-cents per hour in 2012-13 and that they increase by 35-cents per hour in 2013-14.
  • No change in healthcare provisions for the first year; that employees be offered a choice between a PPO and HMO plan during the second year, and the employee does not have to pay the difference in the premium for the PPO; that the employee e given a choice between PPO and HMO in the third year, but will have to pay the premium difference for PPO.
  • Personal days be increased from two to three days per year.

Before the vote, Becky Gralewski, union president, asked the board to accept the fact finder's report, saying that it was a "neutral" report.

"There are no winners in this," she said. "I don't think he (the fact finder) was one-sided. We've been at this long enough."

Board President Andy Drake said officials couldn't comment on the matter due to contract negotiations. He said the district and union would continue to negotiate.


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