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.