The following press release was submitted:
Ellwood City, PA – Ellwood City School’s blue-collar union employees, members of 32BJ SEIU, will set the record straight on stalled negotiations with the School Board on Thursday, November 9 at 6:45 p.m. outside of Lincoln High School. The District’s longtime custodians and food service workers have been in talks for a new contract with the Board since March.
The Board announced this spring it would consider outsourcing the 80 workers’ jobs and began to take contractor proposals. In an effort to help the Board find a solution, the Union submitted its own cost-saving proposals but got no response from the District. The Board and the Union have held six bargaining sessions to discuss the members’ contract which expired in June.
Last week, the Union filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge against the District for refusing to provide new bargaining dates and pertinent information for negotiations.
“The District is making this a difficult process. We understand the cost restraints, but we are willing to work to find a common ground. We love our jobs. The students are our first priority. We know the students well and truly are concerned about their well-being. We are invested. I don’t think the District realizes the impact we make on the children and how outsourcing hurts schools and our communities,” said Brandi Talia, a food service worker.
Like Districts across the state and the country, nearby Butler School District faced even greater financial difficulties than Ellwood City and considered outsourcing its custodians. This fall, however, the District and the School Board worked collaboratively with 32BJ SEIU to find a solution that saved both jobs and money, finding a solution that works for everyone, including the taxpayers.
On Tuesday, school employees and the Ellwood City community turned out to support Kathy McCommons for a seat on the Board. The election of McCommons, who strongly opposes outsourcing the school district jobs, shows that the community is firmly behind keeping good jobs in Ellwood City. The school employees hope McCommons and other supportive Board members will move negotiations in the right direction and create a solution that is amicable for both parties.
WHAT: Press conference to demand School District takes outsourcing off table
WHO: 32BJ Ellwood City School Members & allies
WHERE: Lincoln High School Board Room
501 Crescent Avenue, Ellwood City
WHEN: Thursday, November 9, 2017, 6:45 p.m.