Sound Off: Is Baldwin-Whitehall School District at Risk of a Service Employees Strike?

Union President Toni Yurkovic admits that some members are talking about a strike but that a pending vote on whether or not to do it is just a rumor.

The Baldwin-Whitehall Service Employees Association union (Local 95-02-11-8) has been operating in the without a contract since July 2010 while negotiating for a better deal.

The Baldwin-Whitehall Patch interviewed BWSEA President Toni Yurkovic on Friday, Feb. 18, about whether or not the BWSEA would consider a work stoppage until a new contract was agreed upon.

"We're really not [considering a strike] right now," Yurkovic said in contrast of news tips that the B-W Patch had recently received about a pending union strike vote.

Yurkovic went on to say, though, that "some of the [union] people are talking about it [a strike]" but that a strike is not being officially considered at the moment.

"Right now, it's just a rumor," she said, even pointing out that "negotiations are going rather well." Though, she mentioned that those negotiations are going "not fast enough for some people."

"I think that's what the problem is."

The BWSEA represents 100 percent of B-W school-district service workers, according to Yurkovic. "The bus garage, the food service, the secretaries, the custodians, the noon-time aides and the paraprofessionals," she said, citing 262 total members of the union.

Yurkovic said that the BWSEA's next meeting date has not been set but that no vote will be taken at that meeting on whether or not to strike, again citing that a possible strike is just a rumor.

"That's just a rumor going around that someone had started," she said, "and it just snowballed from there."

Still, is the B-W school district at risk of a strike by its service employees? What have you heard? If you are close to the negotiations, is the school district being fair to its service people? Are the service people being fair to the school district?

What are your thoughts?

The BWSEA is operating under its old contract for the time being.

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