Labor Board Sides With Reading Teachers: District Negotiators Had Conflict

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The state Labor Relations Board has ruled in favor of the city’s teachers union in a claim against the Reading School District.

The Reading Education Association had filed an unfair labor practice in February 2012, claiming two board members formerly on the district’s negotiation team should be removed.

The union claimed that Karen H. McCree should be barred from negotiations because she is a member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the Reading union’s parent organization.  McCree works for the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.

Robert F. Heebner Jr. should be taken off the negotiation team, the union claimed, because as a former Reading teacher he was a member of the Reading Education Association.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=481952

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Shake-Up: Reading School Board President Leaves Post

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Reading School Board faced two surprising changes Monday night, as one board member resigned and the board president gave up his leadership role.

In a letter read by board President Robert F. Heebner Jr., member Frank B. Denbowski announced he would give up his seat effective midnight Wednesday, following that night’s board meeting.

Denbowski, who did not attend Monday’s meeting, cited his responsibilities as Reading’s recycling and solid waste division manager as his reason for leaving.  Denbowski was in the second year of a four-year term.

After reading Denbowski’s letter, Heebner announced that he is relinquishing the presidency immediately but will remain on the board as a member.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=463377

Retired Teacher Named President Of Reading School Board

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A former Marine Corps sergeant was named to lead the Reading School Board through turbulent times at Monday’s annual reorganization meeting.

Robert F. Heebner Jr., 63, a retired teacher and longtime swimming coach, was named president of the board by a slim one-vote margin that reflected ongoing division over the direction of Berks County’s largest school system.

Heebner, who had been vice president, defeated Pierre V. Cooper in a 5-4 vote.

Lining up behind Heebner were Frank D. Denbowski, Isamac Torres-Figueroa, Rebecca Acosta and Harry P. Storch Jr.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=432952

Reading School District Officials Summoned To Harrisburg

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The state secretary of education called Reading School District officials to Harrisburg on Thursday to determine if the situation in the district is as bad as it appeared in a three-part Reading Eagle series.

Although it is rare for a school board to be called to Harrisburg to address budget and other problems, board member Pierre V. Cooper and state Sen. Judy Schwank, who were at the meeting, said the board was not called on the carpet.

“I wouldn’t say that,” Cooper said Friday. “They (Education Department officials) asked about things they read in the newspaper and about what progress we are making on the budget.”

Education Secretary Ron Tomalis declined to comment on the meeting.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=385756