Woodland Hills teachers union to picket district meeting

March 6, 2012 12:07 pm

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Teachers in the Woodland Hills School District plan to picket the district's Wednesday school board meeting to "express frustration with the entire process of negotiations."

The Woodland Hills Education Association, operating under the Pennsylvania State Education Association, has been negotiating with the district for more than a year and have been working without a contract since Aug. 14, according to a press release.

"Picketing is a drastic step for anyone to consider," a spokesman for the PSEA, Butch Santicola, said in the release. "This is not what the Woodland Hills Education Association wanted. At this point, we hoped to be further along in the process."

Mr. Santicola said in the release that WHEA understands the financial challenges facing the district -- which include state cuts to education and more than $10 million a year in payments to charter schools -- but that "there seems to be no spirit of cooperation."p>

School board member Tara Reis said the negotiations are over "issues that every school district and every union face."

"While I support the teachers, I don't know if picketing will get them the community support they want," she said.

WHEA members will picket before the board's 7:30 p.m. meeting. According to the release, picketers plan to gather around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday at the district's administration building, 2430 Greensburg Pike, Churchill.

"We are in negotiations and the board and I are looking forward to continued progress," school board President Marilyn Messina said.

Annie Siebert: asiebert@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1613 and on Twitter @AnnieSiebert.
First Published 2012-03-06 11:05:52

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