officials and union representatives for the school bus drivers are planning to meet Friday in an attempt to hammer out a contract agreement.
Butch Santicola, the spokesman for the Chartiers Valley Education Support Professionals union, said the drivers and custodians could vote on a contract proposal as early as Sunday afternoon.
He’s not sure what the contract negotiations will yield, but sounded positive that the two sides are meeting Friday, while also having several informal sessions throughout the summer.
“Any time there’s a meeting, things are looking in the right direction,” Santicola said. “They’ll have all the representatives there (Friday). It’s very positive.”
District Superintendent Brian White Jr. could not comment on the negotiations, but said he is optimistic about the how the process will unfold.
“We’ve had continuous meetings and I still think things are positive,” White said. “I think everyone involved wants something to work out.”
The school district and union that represents 140 bus drivers and custodians were locked in heated negotiations before the end of last school year. , prompting the union to consider striking .
The union decided against a strike during the final two weeks of the school year, but there are still concerns that they could be replaced by the contractors this year if an agreement isn’t reached soon. Santicola said they could continue to negotiate if these talks fail, but “we’ll have to have an answer soon” because classes begin Aug. 23.
“We’re at the table and that’s a plus,” Santicola said. “There’s a willingness to sit down and at least have a discussion on the issues. One way or another we’ll have a clearer picture (this weekend).”