Millville Area Teachers go on Strike

col teachers strike

MILLVILLE — The Millville Area Junior Senior High School was empty on Wednesday, which was supposed to be the first day of school at the district.

That’s because the teachers are across the street on the picket line.

“We need to attract and retain highly qualified professionals to make sure that students are achieving a high quality education in the Millville community,” said Mark McDade with the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

The teachers in this part of Columbia County went on strike after failed negotiations with the school board.

The union said Millville area teachers have been working without a contract for about three years, but the school board said it has tried to the work with the union since 2012 to avoid a strike.

So, instead of backpacks and books for the almost 700 Millville Area students, it’s an unwanted extended vacation for the kids who said they’re bored.

Despite the negotiations between the teachers union and the school board, students said they want to go back to school, adding they don’t want to go back to the classrooms and end up playing “catch-up” with their school work.

“I spent the entire summer doing homework, so I’m kind of half and half,” said sophomore Sierra Sirota.

“It affects the kids more than anything, because now they’re going to be pushed on time for their education to get through the school year,” said parent Kenneth Bardo.

Bardo has three daughters in the school district.

“There’s no reason to punish the kids’ education because they can’t reach a contract,” said Bardo.

With no negotiations scheduled, students will just have to wait it out.

“I would like for the teachers to get something they’re working for, because this isn’t the first year that they’ve done something. And we have a new superintendent so hopefully things get better,” said junior Garrett Showers.

There are no scheduled meetings between the  school board and the teachers union to discuss negotiations, however the strike will likely be brought up at the next school board meeting on Monday.

30 comments

  • Dennis

    Its sad to see these kids suffering and not receiving a education Becouse of these teachers. There are plenty of people that can’t get a job and hear you are wanting more money and not to have to pay for insurance what about the people that have no insurance. You should be lucky to even have a job seriously. In any job do you get off all summer and get payed for being off . If you ask me I would fire all of you and hire people that really want to work

  • Father

    Okay, Luka Brazi, What a great comeback you have. Yes I am appalled at the rude misinformed comments on here. For your information not all school districts pay for furthering education my daughter paid for her own. And…It’s hard to believe you owe $200.000 for schooling are you a doctor?? Also didn’t you receive any scholarships?? Wow I bet none of these teachers thought of your idea and don’t work additional jobs to help with their loans.

  • Robert

    Did you know that 1 in 5 teachers have left Millville school in the last 5 years for a school with better pay/benefits/working conditions. The teachers union has offered a proposal that will not raise taxes and includes a lower raise than the board is currently proposing. Stop blaming the teachers support them at a board meeting!

  • Ronald

    Stop blaming the teachers for this strike, go support your childrens quality teachers at the board meetings! Help get them back to school! Look at the statistics for Millville teachers leaving 1 in 5 leave!

  • Father

    Granny! ARE you serious losing nothing they are standing for hours in the weather, people abusing them driving by and you people abusing them on here, I understand that the kids don’t want to go into the summer but as I’ve seen on the news they can’t go past June 30th. Do you know the teachers will go beyond that. I doubt that ANY of them want to stand with a sign all day when they have been trained to teach young minds. I know this is NOT just about being richer or getting healthcare there are more issues!

  • Garben

    Funny some of the comments point out misspellings and grammar mistakes however you teachers and maybe some of your parents if they were teachers obviously didn’t or can’t do their job either huh

    • speaking of grammer

      Punctuation. Periods and commas. Try them sometime. Spellchecker is free too. Just a heads up. Before you trash someone else for their “lack” of grammer, punctuation and spelling, try using it yourself. You can’t make a point when you can’t even write your comment anywhere close to right.

  • Lisa

    Teachers do not receive a paycheck for the duration of the strike. Considering this school has been in negotiations since 2012, I highly doubt it was a snap decision to go on strike.

  • Charlie Lucky

    Average Teacher Salary in Millville Area School District
    The average teacher salary in Millville Area School District is $48,116. KEEP IN MIND,THIS IS FOR 180 DAYS OF WORK, NOT THE 250 DAYS OF WORK MOST OTHER JOBS REQUIRE FOR A YEARLY SALARY!!!
    Pre-school

    $27,360

    $20,180

    $22,880

    $26,360

    $29,910

    $33,330

    Kindergarten

    $55,140

    $35,990

    $42,880

    $56,770

    $67,290

    $75,360

    Elementary

    $54,230

    $35,450

    $41,780

    $53,040

    $66,540

    $78,530

    Middle school

    $48,800

    $32,370

    $37,710

    $47,170

    $59,830

    $70,790

    High school

    $55,050

    $37,320

    $45,550

    $55,650

    $65,830

    $74,330

    • John

      Consider Starting salary of around 35,000 WITH $650+ in MINIMUM student loan payments (that’s almost an entire biweekly check itself). Could you live off of $1000 a month with rent, food, vehicle maintenance, insurance, etc?

    • Tom

      Okay I know someone who works there and those don’t seem right! Average salary is no where near their salary! Even if the average salary is 48,000 that is below what most people make for a yearly salary in a professional job! My husband with a family of 4 makes 31,000 and they say we are at poverty level. Is that chart supposed to make us think they’re overpaid?

  • get real people

    People are sickening. It seems everyone has lost touch with reality anymore. Can you read this? Thank a teacher.

    These are the people that devote their lives to these kids. They spend more than just the school day working. They plan over the summer, get there early to get work done, and work late hours when they get home. Just because you didn’t care in school or dropped out and ended up working fast food doesn’t mean they are overpaid. These are the people that making a forever lasting impact on everyone’s life. You read this? You can estimate a bill at the grocery store before you check out? Many of our everyday activities can have some trace back to teachers. If you’re writing a reply to this, even though most have terrible grammer and spelling, that’s thanks to a teacher. They get paid so everyone can work and not stay home to teach their kids.

    Everyone has lost touch with the important role these people play in everyone’s life. Do you forget times like Sandy Hook where these “overpaid” people have given their lives for the children? They don’t say, “I don’t get paid enough to give my life for this kid!” They aren’t just educators, they are truly protectors of our kids.

    Don’t cry that they make too much money, because they really don’t make enough. Remember all the things these caring people do in their careers. Stop crying because you wasted your life away.

  • real facts

    To those who lack any information about this, which is apparently all that comment.

    The truth is that these are the lowest paid teachers in the area. The fact is they have the HIGHEST paid superintendent in the area. The fact is, for two years now, they haven’t had a pay raise and DON’T want a pay raise. The fact is all they want is their health insurance.
    Now, to me, I can completely understand all of this. No pay increase? Just health insurance? If you see that as such a big issue, you have issues. Having the highest payed superintendent for the smallest school, but you can’t pay extra for health insurance? Come on.

    And to all those that say that teachers are overpaid. These are the ones that teach OUR kids what they need to know and learn to accomplish a successful life. Don’t say they’re overpaid because you failed or dropped out, and now work at a fast food joint. If you have an issue with the amount teachers make, maybe you should have tried harder in life and gotten a better job. If the people that help raise our kids (during the school year, they spend more time with our [awake]kids the any parent) shouldn’t be REWARDED with a decent salary and good benefits, then everyone might as well home school their kids. They aren’t just teachers, they are mentors, (at times) babysitters, and friends. And if you can read this, thank a teacher!

    • Jerry

      I understand not a lot of people are aware of the process/reasoning for a strike. Since the school board and teachers’ union have negotiated for several years with no agreement, the teachers’ must strike for a determined (by PDE) amount of school days in order to get to arbitration. At this time a third party (arbitrator) comes in to help negotiate the two sides.

  • Danielle

    These kind of things taking place are the reason more parents are homeschooling so there kids don’t have to deal with this! The teachers make good money, more than most people in that area. This is sad to see the kids suffer and start the school year off like this.

    • Lisa

      This is a joke,one teacher is seen holding a sign that reads ‘children are our top priority’. It has to be money not the children.They make more then alot of people trying to make it in this economy,yet just like so many it is never enough.I know some districts pay more than others, all I can say is look fir a job in that school district, but until then be happy with what you have and giving our children an education.

      • Jon

        1 in 5 teachers have left this district in the last 5 years. That’s 20% of the staff. Guess who suffers? The students. Quality teachers are going elsewhere and every time a new teacher comes in there is a lot of training and time involved in integrating them so they can be effective. Rather than choosing to go somewhere else, these teachers are fighting for a professional contract that will keep teachers in the district. The proposal the union has offered is within the district’s budget and will not raise taxes for the taxpayers in this community.

    • Father

      I am appalled at the rude immature (adults) commenting on here, no wonder your kids act like you do. Think grow up! Teachers are probably the most underpaid college graduates there are and they have to continue their schooling even on the job.

      • Luca Brazi

        Appalled?? Oh really. You say they have to continue their education, while on the job. I’m appalled that most school districts pay for the teachers further education, and then when the get their higher degree, they get a pay raise, SAME JOB. If they want a higher degree, they should pay for it, not the taxpayer, If the superintendent in Millville is one of the highest paid in the area, for one of the smallest school systems in the area, then that would be the first salary to adjust, and what they cut from that superintendent’s salary, can be used for the teachers health benefits. BTW, they can work the summers to help the student loan burden. I myself owed just under 200k, yes, you read it right, 200,000. Their job is not by any means easy, but c’mon, every time you turn around, it’s something else with them.

    • Father

      So you know these teachers and that that cry all the time??Do you know any facts concerning this strike?

  • Granny

    Students should not have to wait to start school. The school should hire substitute teachers or have administration teach. How much do the students do the first few days of school anyways? The striking teachers should be docked their pay for each day on strike, maybe they wouldnt be so eager to strike!

    • Lisa

      Teachers do not receive a paycheck for the duration of the strike. Considering this school has been in negotiations since 2012, I highly doubt it was a snap decision to go on strike.

      • Granny

        I relize they dont get a pay check while on strike, but they also will have their 180 work days so they are losing nothing!!!

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