The teachers are still without a contract at Shaler Area but the school board unanimously approved the collective bargaining agreement between the school district and Teamsters Local Union 205 for full- and part-time secretaries, clerks and aides at tonight's voting meeting.
The contract begins July 1, 2013, and runs through June 30, 2018.
In the interests of transparency, the board unanimously agreed to draft an amendment to policy 903, adding more board business details to the information that should be made public and added to the district's website.
Jeanne Petrovich brought the issue up at the end of the meeting, when the floor was opened to other business. The long-time board member asked why the district's check registry is no longer available at public meetings. She also suggested such information pertaining to the district fund profiles be placed on the Shaler Area website.
Superintendent Wes Shipley said such information is available to the public at the district's administration offices now, but it is not published on the website.
After John Fries said he would like to see more transparency because it would create a more informed public, Mary Lou Dixon said she agreed as well. "I don't think we have anything to hide. Why give the perception?"
Board president James Giel said he agreed such information as the district's educational policies and business information could be made public as long as precautions were taken to meet privacy laws.
Former board member Catherine Davidson was also at the meeting and she said the neighboring districts of North Allegheny, Pine-Richland, North Hills and Hampton include extensive documentation of board business. "It would really be in our best interest," she said.
Arch Autenreith, also a former board member, spoke on another subject then added that perhaps the school board should look into the cost of recording meetings and posting them online as well.
Mr. Giel said this suggestion and other details of the policy change will be discussed at the next work session scheduled for 7:30 p.m. May 8.
Rita Michel, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org