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School Board to Consider Non Binding Arbitration Ruling

Monday, August, 1, 2011

A non binding arbitration panel has issued a ruling in the Bethel Park School District case.  Bethel Park is located near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The arbitration, which began last March, concerned a new contract between the teachers' union and the district.  The teachers have been working without a contract throughout the entirety of the 2010-2011 school year. 


Non Binding Arbitration Rules


Both sides agreed to enter into non binding employment arbitration in March of 2011.  The teachers' union and the district each submitted a final best contract offer to the arbitration panel, which consisted of three members.  The panel proceeded to consider the offers by means of hearings and internal review.  They then made decisions on a line-item basis, selecting provisions of one contract over another for each disputed item. 


Because of the non binding nature of the arbitration, either the teachers' union or the school district is free to reject the final determination of the panel.  If neither party rejects it, the arbitration panel's decision will become final.  The Bethel Park School Board currently has the decision under consideration, as does the teachers' union. 


Points of contention between the two parties included the term of the contract, the top pay for teachers with a master's degree, and the decision to abandon the current PPO healthcare plan in favor of an HMO plan.