Danville Teachers Go on Strike

DANVILLE — Close to 200 Danville Area School District teachers walked off the job and onto the picket lines. The teachers have been working without a contract since 2012.

After a last-minute negotiation session ended Wednesday night without an agreement, the strike began at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

“If we did not feel we were doing the right thing, we would not be out here,” Dave Fortunato said.

Teachers’ union president Dave Fortunato says the teachers are making lower salaries than they deserve.

“Out of the 17 districts in the IU, we are ranked 9th on the average salary. We’re number one on every other category educationally,” Fortunato said.

The president of the state’s education association calls the teachers’ strike a last resort.

“Nobody wants to go on strike. The teachers here don’t want to go on strike. The teachers here don’t want to be on strike. The teachers here want to be in their classrooms dealing with children,” Mike Crossey said.

After failing to come up with an agreement last night, this is what the president of the Danville Area School Board had to say:

“All contracts are eventually settled we would hope it would be sooner than later and I have no prediction,” Allan Schappart said.

Some parents say they agree with the strike but many others say they are not happy about it and it’s an inconvenience to their families.

“I personally have family vacation time planned for this summer that will most likely be cancelled now for the entire family because of snow days and now the strike,” Justin Ganson said.

The union president expects the teacher’s strike to last five or six days, and the superintendent confirmed graduation will be postponed because of the strike, but the new date for graduation has not been set.

“Personally I think it’s kind of ridiculous that they went out this late in the school year. They could have waited. That’s my opinion,” Estella Hower said.

“If it goes on forever, it’s going to go into our summer and it’s going to ruin our summer really bad. I think it’s just ridiculous,” Dakota Hower said.

Union officials say day two of the five or six day strike won’t be until next Tuesday because Friday and Monday are already scheduled as spring break days off from school.

According to the union president, there are currently no other meetings scheduled between the teacher’s union and the Danville Area School Board.

Wednesday night, union leaders met with Danville Area school officials in a closed door negotiation session for nearly four hours but could not come up with an agreement.

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 which is lower than eight other school districts in the area.

7 comments

  • anthony

    PROBLEM SOLVED/ START WITH A NO STRIKE CAUSE, IN THE JOB OPENING/ WORK MORE THAN MIN. 180 DAYS/ MOST WORK 2200 HOURS PER YEAR NOT 1440?? I AM SURE LAY-OFF TEACHERS WOULD LOVE TO TAKE YOUR JOB.

  • Ignore the monster

    “average salaries”? don’t be dupped. Danville school district just hired a ton of new teachers after a lot of retirement exits this year so that includes A LOT of first year salaries. If you do the math that brings the average down. They fail to tell you that, don’t they? Don’t fall prey to Union marketing antics. Let the elected board do what they are elected to do and protect the publics financial interests. These teachers enjoy a decent salary and a nicer than most benefits package, a package which they aren’t comparing to other districts since it shows how good it is. The test scores are also a result of a fantastic curriculum given to them by a very effective director and a crop of kids from good gene pools. it takes a village but they don’t mention that either, do they? stupid union. even stupider us for thinking what they say is completely honest. working without a contract it the game they play with their bargaining antics. That point should be moot. They are dragging an otherwise giving and wonderful community through muck. Remain Nuetral and ignore the monster. it’s their right to picket and strike but let them fight without your help.

  • Backing the Teachers

    Hey the next time a reporter wants to come and interview parents about the work stoppage, how about interviewing parents that actually work and pay property taxes and not a bunch of welfare sucking, under educated sloths sitting in government housing collecting food stamps and assistance??? Seriously WNEP … That was wrong!

    • Becca

      Backing up teachers….Yes how about sending a reporter to parents who do work as I am one of them who does work and pay in hundreds and hundreds of taxes yearly that I also goes for your schools ,Now i ask you this, why are my taxes i pay for your school to make this strike exceptable for teachers who just walk out on their job and refuses to educate our kids because of your Greed of more salery? Everyone wants more pay for their jobs, but we work to save lives like you everyday and do NOT quit because were not happy with our pay!. I do NOT want my kids to learn from teachers who set a poor example of how to be a quitter of their job and to be selfish because you don’t get your way of getting a raise! Blaming others who are on welfare does NOT make your candle any Brighter then theirs so please take that behavior to the white house..

  • Becca

    To be honest i don’t blame the teachers for being upset because they do not agree with thier salery rates and not able to settle an agreement, however going on strike is a punishment to the students because of postpone graduations and they will have more makeup days during the summer, Bad enough there is no spring break as it is other than Easter weekend, I do not understand why the students and families have to suffer that is NO fault of their own over a salery agreement, It is so sad of what people would do just to make a few more bucks rather then to think about their students education. Like many of us, people do get under paid at their jobs but it doesn’t stop us from working. WELCOME to the economy folks.

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