Union Makes Request for Arbitration
Tuesday, November, 8, 2016
The union that represents Williamsport school teachers, guidance counselors, librarians, speech and language therapists, and secretaries at the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School has asked a federal judge to compel arbitration to settle their ongoing contract dispute.
The Young Scholars of Pennsylvania Education Association claims the State College School is in violation of the Federal Arbitration Act. The union insists the school be ordered to participate in the appointment of a neutral arbitrator and be forced to participate in arbitration. According to the union, the school failed to follow the labor contract when it attempted to resolve a grievance filed in February by Ashley Rapsinski.
According to Rapsinski’s claim, the school allegedly unilaterally altered the agreed-upon level of health insurance provided to bargaining unit employees. The school denied the grievance and claimed there had been no violation.
The union asked for binding arbitration regarding the matter in April and asked the Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation to issue a panel of arbitrators (it did). The school told the Bureau it would not strike names from the panel or proceed with the arbitration, which resulted in the August filing of an unfair labor practice by the union with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.
In September, the board declined to proceed with the unfair practice charge due to the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board over charter schools. According to the union, the school’s basis for refusing to arbitrate the grievance is without merit and the dispute should proceed to arbitration as arranged.