Bethel Park

Federation of Teachers


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News & Events


Check this page often for information on important developments affecting teaching and learning in our community as well as state and national levels.  Click here for previous Statements & Releases.


December 3, 2010

Classes Resume Monday, Dec. 6,

More Bargaining Talks Set for Dec. 8


BETHEL PARK, PA--As negotiations go on, the next meeting ofthe Bethel Park Federation of Teachers and the Bethel Park School District is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 8. Teachers plan to return to their classrooms as school resumes on Monday, Dec. 6,  as mandated by the state law.


PA Department of Education calculated the return date based upon a calendar set to provide students with 180  days of instruction by June 15, 2010.


Meanwhile the bargaining process moves into a non-binding arbitration.  In arbitration, both the Federation and the District will each present its final best offer and supporting documentation to an arbitration panel.  The offers will be made available to the public in the District office for public comments, which will then be forwarded to the arbitrators.


Teachers will complete the number of required in-service and Act 48 days without students, after the last day of school.  They also are scheduled to work on certain Saturdays to complete records days quarterly.

December 2, 2010

Bethel Park Teachers Work to Narrow Divide on Issues,
Plan to Meet Dec. 3 With District as Talks Continue

BETHEL PARK, PA--Negotiating teams for Bethel Park Federation of Teachers and the Bethel Park School District worked together to narrow their differences on issues today. The two sides agreed to meet again on Friday morning to resolve remaining issues, as the process leads towards non-binding arbitration.

"Throughout the negotiation process, we have tried to move forward in a spirit of collaboration," said Diann Smith, president of the Bethel Park Federation of Teachers.  "As we move forward to the next stage of the process, we continue to seek a fair and equitable resolution for everyone."

Members of the Bethel Park Federation of Teachers plan to return to their classrooms as school resumes on Monday, Dec. 6.  Sunday is the deadline for the end of the work stoppage, as mandated by the state law, in order to provide students with 180 school days by June 15.    READ MORE>>

Bethel Park Federation of Teachers rally around negotiating team members in front of BPSD Central Administration Building before  bargaining session on Dec. 2.

November 30, 2010

BPFT Offers New Guide "Supporting Children As School Begins Again"

BETHEL PARK, PA--Without an earlier agreement reached, state regulations will compel Bethel Park Federation of Teachers back to the classrooms without a contract on Monday, December 6.


After a long break in classes due to the work stoppage, which began October 25, next week may seem like "back-to-school" deja vu.  Yet, this break was different from summer vacation, so the BPFT offers a guide for parents to make the return to classes easier.


"Supporting Children As School Begins Again," is a brief guide written by Dr. Richard Kapusta, BP school psychologist.  It is designed to ease the transition back to school after the interruption of classes.


This guide complements the earlier guide "Supporting Children When Adults Disagree."  Both guides are available on this web site.





BPFT Teachers Seek a Fair and Equitable Contract


On July 1, 2010, the BPFT professional staff's contract expired without a successor agreement.

Despite a slow and unfruitful negotiation process through the summer months, we returned to our classrooms in good faith at the start of the academic year.  However, because a settlement was not reached the BPFT began a work stoppage on October 25, 2010.




Negotiating Teams


The negotiators for the Bethel Park School District are:


    Chief Negotiator


  • Al Maiello, Maiello, Brungo & Maiello, LLP Attorneys at Law




  • Dr. Thomas Knight, Superintendent
  • Matthew Howard, Assistant to the Superintendent/Finance and Operations
  • Nancy Rose, Assistant Superintendent
  • Lee Mecaro, Director of Human Resources



The negotiators for our Bethel Park Federation of Teachers are:


    Chief Negotiators


  • Diann Smith, Teacher -- Committee Chairperson
  • John Tusai, Teacher -- Second Chairperson



  • Pamela Dobos, Teacher
  • Megan Sella, Teacher
  • Kathleen Foster, Teacher
  • Beth Ann Petalino, Teacher
  • Walt Michalski -- AFT Pennsylvania Staff Representative



December 4, 2010

Corbett Names Education Policy Team


Pennsylvania Gov.-Elect Tom Corbett has announced transition teams early this week, including individuals who will prepare a report to assist in setting policy on education in the state.  Earlier this week Corbett told reporters that the report will assist him formulate policy and choose key personnel.  He divided the names of 400 people on this transition team into 17 groups.


Following are members on the education committee.  This group, along with the 16 other groups ranging from agriculture to banking, are charged to send the Corbett administration drafts their findings their findings and recommendations in the next few weeks, with a final report ready in early January


Co-Chair -- Joel Greenberg, Susquehanna International Group
Co-Chair -- Mark Nordenberg, Chancellor University of Pittsburgh

- Jim Agras, CEO of Triangle Tech and State Board of Education
- Jeanne Allen, President of Center for Education Reform
- Chris Bravacos, President, Bravo Group
- Matt Brouillette, President, Commonwealth Foundation
- PA State Rep. Paul Clymer
- Marie Conley, Chair of the Human Resources Committee, Board of Governors
- Bill Donahue, Treasurer of Donahue Family Foundation
- Carolyn Dumaresq, Partner, Dumaresq Consulting
- Dan Fitzpatrick, President/CEO, Citizens Bank
- Amy Foerster, Saul Ewing
- Don Francis, Independent Colleges & Universities
- Dennis Giorno, Malady & Wooten
- Vahan Gureghian, Chester County Charter School

November 27, 2010

Senate to Vote Nov. 29: Coburn Amendment on Earmarks
Would Cut Academic Program' Funding

WASHINGTON, DC--The Coburn amendment proposes a moratorium on earmarks beginning with the 2011 budget, a move that would cut several national educational programs.


The amendment, proposed by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) as a rider to the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510), and would ban all congressionally directed spending (earmarks) for the next three years. The savings would be less than half a percent of the national budget, while the effects would be widely felt by many educational programs like Reading is Fundamental (RIF), and the National Writing Project.


Other national programs would lose their federal funding. Teach for America, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and VSA--The International Organization on Arts and Disability, all are in the same situation.


Such nonprofit organizations are urging citizens to call their senators and ask them to vote "No" on Coburn amendment #4697 to S. 510 that would ban all congressionally directed spending in FY2011, FY2012 and FY2013. A vote is expected on this amendment on Monday, November 29, 2010.  Interested citizens may find and contact their legislators at


UPDATE 11-20-2010:  This legislation was defeated in the U.S. Senate on Nov. 30.

November 24, 2010

Rendell Signs Two Education Bills on Certification and Pension Reform


HARRISBURG, PA--On November 23, 2010, Governor Rendell signed two bills that are relevant to the educators in the Commonwealth.  They are:


Senate Bill 441:  Amends the Public School Code to allow certain medical professionals to sign off on the health portion of teacher certification forms. The bill also includes language providing for the education of students who previously attended Duquesne High School.


The bill expands the list of individuals qualified to certify mental and physical fitness of teachers to include licensed or certified physicians' assistants and certified registered nurse practitioners.  It also includes provisions for tuition for students of Duquesne High School, a school district under fiscal distress. The receiving school districts will be paid a calculated tuition rate and additional stipend for two years.  The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee will provide an annual report on the status of the distressed school district by February 1 of each year to the House and Senate Appropriations and Education Committees.

House Bill 2497: Provides for pension reform and creates an independent fiscal office. 


This bill will reduce short-term pension contributions for state government and school entities, curtail long-term costs to the two systems and reduce pension benefits for future members of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) and the State Employees' Retirement System (SERS).  This legislation will reduce a pending spike in annual required employer contributions that was expected to dramatically increase the cost to state and school district taxpayers.  HB 2497 accomplishes that partly by spreading over more years the employer contributions needed to cover costs for current employees, reducing benefits for new hires, and making structural changes. The new law includes provisions that largely reverse more generous pension benefits that resulted from changes to the law in 2001.  As a result, future state and school employees, including new legislators whose initial terms begin on December 1 of this year, will have less generous benefits than current employees and lawmakers.


(Source: Education Policy and Leadership Center, EPLC Education Notebook)

November 3, 2010

AFT Is Not "Waiting for Superman"


It's hard not to be moved by "Waiting for 'Superman." It's an emotional film about families seeking good schools for their children. But good storytelling is no substitute for an honest and accurate look at how we can really improve our public schools so they offer all children access to a great education.  READ MORE>>


Watch a related video: The Whole Story: Tireless Educators