Teachers at Danville Area Decide to Strike

DANVILLE — Teachers in an area school district have decided to go on strike Thursday.

Teachers in the Danville Area School District announced the strike Wednesday night.

They are set to stop work because a last-minute negotiation session ended with no agreement.

For four hours, they met in a private negotiation session, an attempt to stop a teacher strike, but Danville Area officials and union leaders couldn’t come to an agreement.

“The negotiation session was disappointing this evening. The board clearly is more interested in playing politics than coming to real solutions at the bargaining table. The big issues on the table right now: salary, healthcare, tuition reimbursement. Those are the major issues, but there are other ancillary issues that still exist,” said Mark McDade, PSEA Labor representative.

The teacher strike is expected to last five or six days.

Because of that strike, graduation in the district is being pushed back, too.

“It’s disappointing. Eventually a contract will be reached. Unfortunately, it just wouldn’t be this evening. All contracts are eventually settled. We would hope it would be sooner than later, and I have no prediction,” said Allan Schappart of the Danville Area School Board.

About 200 Danville Area teachers in the union have been without a contract since 2012.

They said the district has refused their “fair contract offers.”

According to the State Education Association, in 2010 and 2011, the average salary of a middle and high school teacher in the Danville Area district was $51,990.

“The positions are contentious, but there’s professionalism on both sides of the table, which is appreciative,” said McDade.

Teachers walked off the job Thursday morning.

16 comments

  • Joe R.

    Low pay for teachers is a good thing? Seriously!?! Do you want the best teachers in your community? Do you think the best teachers will stick around for lower pay? Do you think the best teachers will be attracted to the minimal benefits? If you want the best for your community, pay your teachers the best and treat them with respect. You will be risking a lot if you let the best teachers get away.

  • Mad In Hazleton

    Boo Hoo Boo Hoo I’m an over paid teacher, Boo Hoo. I have been working under my old 2012 union contract, and I’m still getting paid my over bloated union salary boo hoo boo hoo, but I’m greedy I want my new even more over bloated 2014 contract signed so I can make all your taxes go up..hahahaha, if up to me you all would be booted of the healthcare insurance plan you have now only to enroll you into OBAMATAXCARE which your union and you teachers supported……give ya a taste of your own medicine.

  • Ralph

    Here is what I have to say about this strike. Why would you strike at the very end of the school year. According to this article you have all been working without a contract for 2 years now. So why wait till now. I am assuming that there are a few kids that will be graduating this year, and will be heading into the military. How is it fair to these kids to have to put the start of their lives on hold, because teachers want to strike 30 some days before school is to let out. Finsih the school year out, and go into negotiations this summer.

    • mcfrog

      I went to Shenandoah and I remember it being a fairly bad winter and we were off school in the beginning of the year for about 3 weeks due to our teachers striking. Our seniors that year graduated at the very end of June some of them leaving for the military or starting summer classes a few days later. I understand your point but no matter what time of year they strike the kids would still have a late graduation. Waiting until now it sounds like they are limiting the strike time possibly to not affect graduation as much.

    • ProTeacher

      Any student who is scheduled t leave for the military or or early college orientation/admission will be able to go. They will receive their diploma. This won’t stop any student from being where they need to be.

  • Sam

    The lack of respect for educators in NEPA is sickening! Greedy? Every teacher I know spends their own money and time on their students! To those of you complaining about 180 days, I guarantee you wouldn’t last a day in the classroom! Teachers work more than 180 days, that only represents days they are with students.

    Tuition reimbursement? Yes, I would like my child’s teachers to continue to be developed professionally. Private sector organization often pay for this as well.

    If your are dissatisfied with the burden school district finances place on local residents, contact your state representatives! All the unfunded mandates they create only make things more difficult!

    If you can read this comment and make an educated response, thank a teacher!

  • JTZ109

    Everyone choose their careers. If you think teachers have it so good…then why don’t you become a teacher?

  • John

    Greedy? Teachers are 9/10 times more involved with the students than the parents. I don’t think a lot of people understand teaching isn’t a job you work 8-3 and leave it at the door and go home. They are ultimately making less than $10 an hour per kid. Would you pay your babysitter $6 an hour? They aren’t babysitters they are providing your child an education and helping them learn how to make smart decisions for their future. They have a right just like everyone else to fight for what they believe is fair.

  • SteveL

    How about some type of performance-based positive and negative reinforcement in the new contract? If the kids can pass the achievement tests at the end of the year then the teachers can keep their excessive salary and benefits before taking the summer off. If they fail the tests then the teachers will be be beaten and flogged in public. Try again next year union hacks!

  • Not in your favor!

    What is tuition reimbursement? I think continued education is on your on dollar not the tax payers.

  • Hammer

    180 days a year they work, nights, holidays and weekends off, making a medium income of $51k/year…. Try babysitting the countries worst criminals 24/7 making $10k less than what you greedy people make.

    • Garrathine

      I completely agree with you Hammer… There are people in this country working more than 180 days and still getting paid less than teachers. “Greedy” is a generous term being used at this point. Due to the strike, kids with AP classes will not be taught by a teacher for the time being. The AP tests start EARLY MAY. With the strike going on for five to six days, they are putting kids back trying to impress colleges with a five on their AP test. Other kids around the nation will not be having this problem, they will be prepared with all the information taught by their teacher. This strike for all I am concerned is uncalled for.

  • Semore

    Let them strike and replace them. Unions are a past and if these people don’t want to pay their share, get rid of them.

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