Lower Merion School District teachers and staff began the 2012-2013 school year Tuesday, working under the terms of the contract that expired at the end of June.
The 1,300-member Lower Merion Education Association and LMSD officials have held several negotiation sessions this year but have yet to agree to a new contract. The first staff day was Tuesday; classes begin for students next Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Asked for comment on the district's contract outlook, spokesman Doug Young issued a written statement to Patch: "We enjoyed a positive, enthusiastic opening day for staff, marked by traditional 'welcome back' activities. The Board and administration anticipate a successful start to the school year and remain committed to negotiating a responsible agreement with the LMEA."
LMEA president Chris SantaMaria, a Harriton High School teacher, said the union took a different view.
"The mood in my meeting (Tuesday) morning was anxious and somber," SantaMaria said. "I updated the teachers and support staff on the failure to secure a contract before school begins."
Negotiations on Thursday, Aug. 23, produced neither a contract nor, SantaMaria said, an agreement to schedule further negotiations.
"The next meeting of my general membership will be on Oct. 10," SantaMaria told Patch in an email. "If we have no agreement by then, we will put all options on the table for discussion."
In 2010, the last time the union's contract expired, a tentative agreement was in place when teachers returned for the new school year, the union president said.
Keep following Patch for all the latest news on the Lower Merion school contract situation.