Guest post by Ross Brenneman
With the district and its teachers failing to reach a new contract since the previous one expired Sept. 1, educators and paraprofessionals in Scranton, Pa., are now on strike.
Scranton’s 830 teachers, plus another 110 paraprofessionals, serve about 10,000 students. According to the Scranton Times-Tribune, the district had offered teachers salary step increases, in exchange for higher health insurance deductibles and prescription co-pays. (Scranton teachers are the only ones in their county to pay a part of their health insurance premiums.)
Rosemary Boland, president of the Scranton Federation of Teachers, told members in a letter earlier this month that, “throughout negotiations, the District’s proposals have consistently been disjointed and unclear.” The Scranton union is an American Federation of Teachers affiliate.
Negotiations broke down when the district wanted to wait until January to implement the salary increases, per the Times-Tribune. Since the strike technically started Friday, per Scranton news station WNEP, Monday was the first day students were not in class. (Some schools were able to sneak in another game of Friday night football.)
A few students are less than impressed with everyone involved. Per WNEP:
We deserve to graduate on time and not on June 30. I think they should have come up with an agreement a lot sooner. I think they had all summer to do it," senior Meghan Padden said.
Other strikes have popped up this fall. In September, Seattle teachers went on strike for six days before winning a new contract. Smaller strikes have also occurred in Kelso, Wash., and in the Chicago suburb of Prospect Heights, Ill.
Image: Teachers in Seattle went on strike on the first day of school over wages and other issues. Teachers there ratified a new contract on Sept. 20. —Elaine Thompson/AP
More union activity:
- Union Fees, Affirmative Action on High Court’s 2015-16 Docket
- Seattle Teachers’ Strike Encompasses Range of Issues
- Unions Back Scrapping Tax on High-Cost Health-Care Plans
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.