By JENNIFER FITCH
9:14 PM EST, January 29, 2013
The Waynesboro Area School Board and its teachers union are continuing to try to reach agreements on teacher contract issues without attorneys present.
The two sides met Tuesday for a four-hour bargaining session.
Waynesboro Area School Board member Rita Daywalt called the time cordial and cooperative.
“Discussions focused around a handful of issues, including salary and benefits. The majority of the discussion included clarifying both sides proposals,” Angie Cales, president of the Waynesboro Area Education Association, wrote in an email on behalf of the union.
The union represents about 275 teachers.
Last summer, the two sides ratified a contract that took 2 1/2 years to develop. Because that contract covered 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13, the bargaining teams now are headed back to work on a new deal.
Negotiating teams for both sides are expected to next meet Feb. 11.
Daywalt said negotiating sessions likely will remain informal through the end of February, then attorneys will join the efforts.
WAEA’s negotiations committee has about 15 members. From them, the team that goes to the table is comprised of Cales, Cori Urey, Heather Gaylor, Mike Engle and Caroline Tassone.
Representing the nine-member school board in this round of negotiations are Daywalt, Chris Lind and Lee Lemley.
Neither side has released details of current proposals, although they have said they are determining how many years the new contract will cover.
In recent years, the contract dispute generated accusations, protests, tense moments, threats of strikes and a hefty amount of public opinion. The finalized deal included pay increases of 2.25 percent for the 2012-13 year, but did not provide for retroactive raises in 2010-11 or 2011-12.
The down economy played a key role in most conversations when the last contract was being settled.
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