The South Butler School Board has approved the fact-finding report issued as part of the ongoing dispute between the district and its teachers over a contract.
By a unanimous vote Wednesday night, the school board accepted the six determinations made by Fact Finder Jane Desimone concerning healthcare and wages made by a state-appointed mediator.
The prospective deal would be for six years beginning when the previous deal expired in 2014 and continuing through 2020.
On the subject of healthcare, Desimone determined that the existing status quo should be maintained through the first four years of the new agreement, then implement the teachers’ proposed Qualified High Deductible Plan with a Health Savings Account largely funded by the district on July 1, 2018. In the area of wages, Desimone said that there should be no wage increase or salary step movement for the first two years, step movement only for the third year, then a 3 percent salary increase plus step movement for each of the final three years.
It’s now up to the members of the Pennsylvania State Education Association teachers union to decide if they accept the mediator’s recommendations. If they vote to accept the findings, those determinations would then be used to form the substance of the next collective bargaining agreement between the district and their teachers. If the union votes to reject the findings as they did following a previous fact finding in 2015, both sides would vote for a second time. If one side or the other does not accept the findings in the second vote, negotiation sessions would likely resume.
If a deal is reached, the contract would last through 2020.
The district and the teachers union have been involved in a contract dispute for three years.