The Bethlehem Area School Board heard comment Sept. 26 from 20 cafeteria workers regarding contract negotiations. Head cook Kathy Turner read several letters written by students and parents expressing appreciation for everything cafeteria workers do. Turner reminded the board that their contract expired in June and they have gone three years without a raise.
Several cafeteria workers said the current offer is not adequate considering the scope of their work. Most schools in the district are short-staffed, placing more demands on existing staff.
Superintendent Dr. Jack Silva said, “During an active negotiation our practice has been avoiding ‘negotiating in the press,’ which can have the affect of reducing trust among the parties and making it harder to achieve a fair settlement.” Negotiations will continue in executive sessions between the board and union representatives.
The board also acceptance a donation from the class of 1955 to Liberty HS. This donation of $310.68 was accepted in accordance with board policy 702.
Also in accordance with policy 702, the board donated old lamp projectors to a school in the Dominican Republic. BASD replaced the old lamp style projectors in the high schools with laser projectors that are more energy efficient. Most of the old lamp style projectors are no longer being manufactured and BASD has little use for them. Several will be kept by the Information Service Department to use as loaners for the elementary or middle schools when needed.
All other administration recommendations were approved by the board, as reviewed and discussed during committee meetings.
The next BASD committee meeting will be Oct. 9, 6 p.m. at the Education Center.
Press photo by Jenn Rago Cafeteria workers speak up at the school board meeting regarding current contract negotiations. Their contract expired in June 2023, yet they continue to do their jobs.