Our view: For the good of everyone, it’s time to make a deal in Dallas

Dallas teachers showing solidarity with signs and T-shirts walk to the high school auditorium for a school board meeting last month. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

It’s time to play “Let’s Make a Deal” in the Dallas School District.

And we aren’t talking about Monty Hall and curtain No. 1 … or Wayne Brady for you younger folks.

We are talking about the ongoing negotiations – if you can call them that – in the district over a contract with the teachers union.

The details are all too well-known by now.

The teachers have been working without a new contract since the summer of 2015.

Since then we’ve seen multiple strikes, finger-pointing, heated school board meetings, court-mandated negotiation sessions and just about everything else you can expect in a contract dispute.

Everything but progress in the negotiations seemingly.

And, honestly, we’ve had enough.

The latest, according to Mark Guydish’s story in today’s paper, is that the Dallas teachers union has asked a Luzerne County judge to declare the district in contempt.

It seems representatives of the board have missed two of those court-ordered negotiation sessions, while awaiting a decision on an appeal of the order mandating the meetings.

Guydish’s story tells us District Solicitor Vito DeLuca says it’s difficult to get the same five school board members to attend each meeting, as required by the order.

If the board believes that’s difficult, let them try being a parent planning child care for the school year with the constant threat of teacher strikes hanging over their heads.

DeLuca believes the appeal protects the district from the contempt order.

But frankly, we don’t care because of something else DeLuca hinted at to Guydish.

He suggested the two sides have come no closer since the mandated-negotiations order went into effect on July 10.

It’s high time both these sides are locked in a room and not allowed to leave until an agreement is reached.

We are not taking sides here. Truthfully, there is certainly enough blame to go around.

Teacher salaries, health care contributions and ever-climbing tax rates are all part of the equation.

And right now, with the case heading to court, we are all paying for this dispute.

But no one is facing a higher cost than the students and families of the district.

So how about both sides sit down at the table and channel their inner Monty Halls and play “The Big Deal of the Day”?

If it will help, we’ll even provide the zany costumes.

— Times Leader

Dallas teachers showing solidarity with signs and T-shirts walk to the high school auditorium for a school board meeting last month.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL061918DSboard_3CMYK.jpgDallas teachers showing solidarity with signs and T-shirts walk to the high school auditorium for a school board meeting last month. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader