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Published: Saturday, 10/4/2008

Swanton schools face walkout by support staff

SWANTON Shortly after averting a teachers strike, the Swanton Local School District is facing a walkout Monday by its secretaries and teachers aides.

Carol Arvin, spokesman for the Swanton School Support Staff Association, said the district has not made time to negotiate with the union, which represents nine employees.

The group issued its 10-day strike notice Sept. 24. Its contract expired Aug. 31. District officials yesterday collected keys to the school from union employees.

We do not want to do this, Ms. Arvin said. All we are asking is for them to sit down and talk to us.

Superintendent Paulette Baz said she hoped to resolve the matter Monday. The key is getting everyone together.

But until an agreement can be reached, Ms. Baz said she would fill the union s positions with internal replacements and substitutes from the community.

The district typically begins negotiations with its support staff once the contract with the teachers union has been settled.

The teachers union, the Swanton Education Association, will meet after school Monday to ratify a two-year contract agreement approved earlier this week by the Board of Education, a union spokesman said.

The teachers union, whose contract also expired Aug. 31, had threatened to strike Monday. The contract is expected to be ratified, and the teachers will be in school, the spokesman said.

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