EXETER — As students leave the Wyoming Area Secondary Center, they’ve got more to look forward to than just a three-day holiday weekend. They could be out of school for up to three weeks with a teachers strike starting Tuesday.
Susan Patton’s tenth grade daughter isn’t looking forward to the break.
“She really is upset about it. They’re just going back. They’re in the school mode now, and to just start and now have to take time off again, she’s just disappointed,” said Susan Patton, a parent in the Wyoming Area School District.
The decision to strike is a result of four years of bargaining between the Wyoming Area School District and its teachers Union.
Union negotiator John Holland says teachers are willing to help with healthcare and retirement costs. But Holland says teachers want a pay raise.
“It’s very modest. They’re not unreasonable. They’re not unrealistic,” said union negotiator John Holland.
The union and district met twice this week, but couldn’t reach an agreement.
“What the district did was just reshuffle the cards. It was the same proposal, just moved around to make it appear different,” said Holland.
The district superintendent released a statement not commenting on the contract negotiations, but saying school will be closed during the strike. He said when it’s time to re-open, parents will be notified through the school messenger “All Call” system.
Some parents told Newswatch 16 off camera they know the district is strapped for cash and understand why this is happening. Others say they’re just frustrated.
“You know, people are just lucky to have a job, let along a very good paying job and to strike over something so ridiculous, to me it is anyway,” said Patton.
The strike begins Tuesday. It’s unclear exactly how long it will last.