Fact finder report rejected by South Middleton School District

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An 18-page fact finder report wasn't enough to get the district and South Middleton teacher's union to see eye to eye. The school board rejected the report.

The teachers of the South Middleton School District have gone over 250 days without a contract. However, many were hoping that would end with a report from a neutral, state-appointed third party.

School Board President Tom Merlie said it boiled down to benefits like healthcare, specifically spousal eligibility and exclusion.

“It doesn't benefit the students, it doesn't benefit the district, its doesn't benefit the community, and the case can be made that in the long term it doesn't benefit the teachers,” Merlie said.

The South Middleton Education Association, the union representing nearly 180 teachers, said it wasn't the best plan, but its members overwhelmingly accepted the report.

“We thought the fact finder report met in the middle; it did not favor one side or the other,” SMEA Spokesman Mike Freese said. “We are very disappointed,” he added.

The district and SMEA have 10 days to vote on the fact finding reports again and report back to the labor relations board. Both sides anticipate their stances to stay the same. They are open to negotiation talks.

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