As you may be aware, the Chartiers Valley School District has been negotiating with the leadership of its teachers’ union, the Chartiers Valley Federation of Teachers (CVFT), since January 2022. Because these negotiations have not yet resulted in a settlement, the District has contacted the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) to begin a process known as factfinding.
Factfinding is an option for either side to pursue when negotiations are at an impasse. In the process, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) assigns a neutral, third-party person called a fact-finder to examine the positions of both parties and to make recommendations in the hopes of providing a pathway to settlement.
Although fact-finding provides no guarantee of a settlement, it has worked to resolve disputes in other school districts. We all know that any disruption to education will be detrimental to our students – and this is something that we are doing our very best to avoid.
CVSD remains committed to reaching an agreement with the following goals in mind:
1. Ensuring CVSD's strong educational programs that benefit students remain.
2. Provide fair compensation and benefits.
3. Respect the financial impact and realities of any contract on our school district and community.
FAQ's about Factfinding
Q: How does factfinding work?
A: Once the request for factfinding is received and the PLRB appoints a fact-finder, he or she has 40 days to issue a report containing recommendations for a contract. After receiving the report, each side then has 10 days to notify the PLRB as to whether or not they accept the report in its entirety. During this initial 10-day period, by law the fact-finder’s report is sealed from public review. If the report is rejected by one or both parties, it will be made public. Contained in the fact-finder’s recommendations will be substantive details regarding each party’s negotiating positions. No less than five days and no more than 10 days after the report is made public, each side must again inform the PLRB as to whether or not it accepts the report. The entire process lasts approximately 60 days.
Q. Is the fact-finder’s report binding?
A. No. However, if both parties accept, the fact-finder’s report is binding and becomes the contract. If the fact-finder’s report is rejected, it could still be used by both parties as a framework for further negotiations, which could lead to a successor contract.
Q. Could the teachers’ union go on strike during factfinding?
A. No. During the factfinding process, teachers’ unions are not allowed to strike.
Q. Could the teachers’ union go on strike if the factfinding process does not result in an agreed-upon contract?
A. Yes. We hope that the teachers will not make this decision and that both sides will continue to work together toward a settlement. Pennsylvania laws that govern collective bargaining do allow a strike to occur if a settlement is not reached. In this case, the union is legally required to deliver the written notice to the District of an intent to strike no later than 48 hours before any work stoppage.