School unions set to start year without contracts

    Eleven union locals in Philadelphia and the surrounding Pennsylvania suburbs likely to start work without a deal.

    Nearly 50 Pennsylvania union locals representing teachers and school support staff in the Delaware Valley will be negotiating employment deals even as the new school year gets underway. Many of those unions will start work without a current contract.

    As of last week, 11 union locals in the area were operating without a contract. Some haven’t had an agreement in place since 2008.

    Pennsylvania State Education Association Spokesman Rob Broderick says long term negotiations have become the norm.

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    “This is about usual for this time of year. The negotiations seem to be taking a bit longer because of the state of the economy, but there are always a number of associations that start the year without contracts.”

    Benefits and wage increases continue to dominate discussions between unions and administrations.

    Some unions in the area working without a deal are the Methacton and Hatboro-Horsham Education Associations, both in Montgomery County. Methacton teachers voted last spring to authorize its leaders to call for a strike if necessary.

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