What was to have been an arbitration hearing between the Peters Township School District and the union representing its teachers instead turned into a marathon negotiating session.
Prior to the start of the closed-door hearing earlier today, neutral arbitrator Timothy Tietze suggested negotiations and acted in the role of mediator.
The hearings were postponed and talks began with some of the non-economic issues that had previously been agreed upon, according to a release from the district.
But once the sides began discussing economic issues -- especially salaries and health care contributions -- little progress was made, said Superintendent Jeannine French.
“The only way to find a resolution is to work together," she said. "I was encouraged by the willingness to talk today, but the same issues derailed the conversation. We need to find a way to come to an agreement that is acceptable to our teachers and responsible to our community.”
Talks concluded for the day after 7 p.m. Arbitration hearings are now slated to begin at 10 a.m. Friday at the district offices.
The district's 285 teachers have been without a contract since Aug. 31. They went on strike for nearly a month last fall, and haven't ruled out walking off the job again in the spring if talks don't produce a contract.