East Allegheny teachers' union claims president disciplined unfairly

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The East Allegheny Education Association today announced it has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the school district as a result of discipline issued against the union president.

In a news release, the union said that president Cheryl Ihnat, who is a school counselor, received a letter of reprimand signed by Donald MacFann, assistant to the superintendent.

The union calls the letter “the culminating event of a pattern of illegal and discriminatory actions taken against Ms Ihnat and association for engaging in protected concerted activity.”

Michael Palombo, an attorney representing the district, did not have an immediate comment.

In the news release, the union states the president was “called to a meeting with Mr. MacFann during which he intimidated Ms. Ihnat with questions and accusations regarding her comments at the public school board meeting.”

Ms. Ihnat, in the news release, stated she has been “speaking at school board meetings about our dissatisfaction with the board’s bargaining behavior. Evidently, the board didn’t like that.”

At a board meeting last month, Ms. Ihnat said the teachers will strike on the first day of school, Sept. 2, if a new contract isn’t reached,. The old contract expired June 30, 2012.

The next board meeting is 7 p.m. Monday.

East Allegheny has about 1,700 students and 128 teachers.

Education writer Eleanor Chute: echute@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1955.

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