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Pennsylvania school board, administrator, agree to mediation

There are many different situations in which mediation may be helpful to the resolution of a dispute. One of those situations is where an employment matter is concerned. A Pennsylvania school district and an employee the district is seeking to demote recently agreed to try to reach a resolution via mediation.

For reasons that are not completely clear, the district would like the woman to move from her role as director of student and district services, to an associate principal. She has been out of work on back-to-back sabbaticals for health reasons since the spring of last year.

Though any suggestions made by the mediator in this case will not be binding, the agreement between the two parties to submit to mediation indicates the willingness on both sides to resolve the matter. Undoubtedly the administrator would like to be able to concentrate on her health and the school district is being criticized for the amount of money it has spent on trying to get the administrator to take the other job. These efforts include two hearings this past fall.

In addition to resolving a matter in a less time consuming and less expensive method, mediation is also often beneficial in situations such as this one, where the parties involved will likely have an ongoing relationship after the matter is resolved. In a less contentious environment it is possible that issues at the heart of the matter will be revealed and can be addressed.

Whether the employment matter in this case will be resolved via mediation remains to be seen. The first meeting is slated to take place this week.

Source: Tribune-Review, “Mediator to hear debate on status of Greensburg Salem administrator,” Bob Stiles, Jan. 25, 2014

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