LIMERICK — Although both sides are remaining tight-lipped on contract talks, negotiators the Spring-Ford Area School Board and Spring-Ford’s teachers’ union are optimistic.
“My personal opinion is that things went well on Wednesday because the school board members were present,” said Maria Kardick, president of the Spring-Ford Education Association, the teachers’ union.
Earlier this month, Kardick expressed that the union believed better progress could be made in negotiations if the school board members on the district’s negotiating team — Tom DiBello, Dawn Heine and Bernard Pettit — attended talks on the contract.
DiBello told Digital First Media that the board members would come if a regular schedule of meetings was set.
Up to Wednesday, for an indefinite period of time, only labor relations attorney Jeffrey Sultanik and Spring-Ford Human Resources Director Beth Leiss attended negotiations on behalf of the school district, which DiBello said was a normal tactic when talks slow down.
After Wednesday’s meeting, which he classified as “informal negotiations,” DiBello said he couldn’t talk about what was discussed but that he is “hopeful” for a positive outcome.
“I can say that we did meet and I still remain hopeful that we can work toward an agreement that would be beneficial for both sides as well as the community and students,” DiBello said.
The next meeting between the sides has not yet been set. DiBello said they are waiting to hear back on the Spring-Ford Education Association’s response to the latest offer.