UPDATE: Teachers Picketing In Danville Area

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.

19 comments

  • Annoyed

    I never take the time to post on these things (I have better things to do with my time), but I felt a strong desire to today. Actually, the teacers are not paid to strike. Teachers are required to teach at least 180 days (likely more). If they were getting paid, then they wouldn’t have to worry about making up the days of instruction. They will get paid for the days that they must makeup, not for the days they were on strike (get your facts straight before wasting your breath complaining on an online forum). I also imagine that there health care is affected as well. Finally, I have a hard time believing that hire degrees do not influence a student’s education, especially considering you cannot teach certain subjects without additional certificates/degrees. Otherwise, feel free to keep posting pathetically on an online forum that no one cares about. If you have something meaningful or constructive to say, stop complaining behind a computer screen and call the school board. If you are working so much harder than a teacher, then I find it hard to believe that you would have so much time to waste time on commenting on things like this.

    • WhatAJoke

      I want another Audi, or maybe another BMW, but this next-to-nothing deduction out of my paycheck for health insurance is really putting a strain on my bank account. How can I afford to eat at the Pine Barn Inn everyday, or pay my membership at Frosty Valley Country Club? It will just be a small 10% tax increase for the working poor. They wont even notice. Who cares if someone has to choose between taking their medicine or eating dinner today? #WhiteCollarProblems

  • Hillbilly Hank

    Striking teachers don’t have any skin in the game…..they get paid regardless. Make it a “2 for 1″ law that you LOSE 2 DAYS PAY for every day on strike….they’d drop their picket signs in a heartbeat and get back in the classroom.

  • View from the cheap seats

    They should all be replaced. Why can teachers just walk off the job? Their decision affects peoples lives. People need to find child care, seniors have summer college scheduled, seniors have departure dates for basic training. This never seems to be a concern of a teacher yet they claim they care. Teachers need to remember they are paid and work for the taxpayer. Think what would happen if the doctors and nurses decided to walk off the job at Geisinger. They are pathetic!!!!

  • Fratboy

    Interesting comments. A teacher’s salary is bloated. Tell me how? Teachers should move or quit. Think about the quality of replacements willing to work for less. Still being paid and on vacation -yeah, right, a vacation walking in circles, in the cold, with a sign draped over your shoulders. With such moronic comments on here, I guess it’s true, public Ed is worthless..

    • Thehammer

      How? Supply and demand for one. There is a glut of teachers in Pa., so a steady supply or equally or better qualified willing and happy to work for less than current salaries. With premium benefits and health care, salaries are easily above the median and average of those who pay their salaries, and work full time (not 180 days) to do so. They get time and money to continue education which in turn increases salary, but studies show that higher degrees make no difference in the classroom. Should I continue, Fratboy?

  • Danville taxpayer

    It’s interesting, the reports all say that the teacher’s are on strike. It is true they are not “teaching”, but they are still being paid and have their health insurance. It seems more like an unscheduled vacation than a strike, but of course this is all for the students! Yes right!

  • 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.

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