Neshaminy teachers contract talks on hold

Negotiations between the Neshaminy School District and its 654-member teachers union have been suspended while lawyers for both sides work out details of a state-mandated, nonbinding arbitration, board President Ritchie Webb said Thursday.

State mediator John Cairns recommended that Thursday’s  negotiating session be postponed for the arbitration process, which is mandated by state Act 88 after a teachers strike, Webb said. The teachers went on strike for eight school days out of frustration over the four-year contract impasse, returning to work Jan. 20.

Negotiations normally do not proceed during an arbitration, district lawyer Charles Sweet said. One of the details to be worked out is whether the arbitration will be conducted by a single, neutral arbitrator or a three-person panel, with one arbitrator picked by each side and a neutral arbitrator, Sweet said.      

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