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Abington Heights Teachers to Strike

SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP -- Teachers in the Abington Heights School District in Lackawanna County are going on strike starting Tuesday morning, the district announced.

Contract talks broke down last week.

The district in the Clarks Summit area offered teachers a 2 percent raise and asked them to pay $80 a month for health care.

The union rejected the offer and countered with an offer seeking a 2.5 percent salary increase for teachers and no changes to health care for one year.

"The union has not informed us how long they intend to strike, so we will send out daily updates to our community to let them know if we hear anything from the union about their decision about when they'd like to come back to school," said Michael Mahon, Abington Heights Superintendent.

"I'm very supportive of teachers, and I love Abington Heights School District. My husband and I are both graduates. We hope that they come to an agreement and can work together very well to come to a solution quickly," said parent Tricia Rubner.

The superintendent estimates the strike could last until the end of the month.

30 comments

  • Yvonne

    These teachers need to live in the REAL world. Most of the US population pays a good percentage of their health care premiums and also make the same type of salary. Myself included. Yes, everyone deserves a raise at appropriate times not disputing that. I think they need to appreciate how good they have it. A teacher is not above other professions, each profession has it’s own worth in society.

  • Jon

    This is so incredibly sad… My daughter, 5 years old, just started her first week of Kindergarten last Wednesday. We moved to Abington because of how highly the school system was rated. After attending school for just 4 days, her Mom tried taking her this morning to find out the teachers are on strike. She tried explaining to her why she couldn’t go to school today and my daughter asks “do the teachers not like me?” I agree teachers in this country are severely underpaid, but to go on strike only 4 days after the school year has started over 0.5% and $80/mo is just unethical. Kids to do no understand these things and you are throwing their entire schedules off. If there is a dispute with your employer, deal with it on your own time and during the summer break. I cannot express my disappointment with the union and teachers participating in this strike and especially the timing associated with it; extraordinarily selfish, unethical, and disappointing. I feel so bad for the kids, especially the young ones like my daughter who are so excited to finally start their new schools, only to be told they can’t go for reasons they do not understand.

    • Whassamatta

      Never make decisions based upon things like school systems. Take your kid out of public school, enroll her into a private school or home school her, yourselves, and there will be no issues regarding ethics, unions, or questions of salaries. Teachers are not underpaid. They earn a living better than you or I do, and they have benefit packages that cost you and me a tremendous amount.

  • tom

    As an outsider of the Abington area and a senior citizen, only my opinion, asking the employees to contribute $80.00 per month for the top quality health care is more than fair!
    Our premiums as senior citizens for medicare and prescription coverage is $400.00 per month.
    I would gladly pay the $80.00 for the excellent coverage they receive.

  • SupportTeaxhers

    Average salary of Abington Heights teacher = $58,000
    2% raise = $1,160
    $80/month premium share x 12 months = $960
    Prescription deductible = $500

    $960+$500 = $1460 in increased out of pocket costs for the teachers

    $1160-$1460 = – $300.00
    NEGATIVE
    Anyone negotiating a contract in the negative is getting an unfair deal. Stop vilifying a profession dedicated to caring for children and producing future tax payers.
    #mathlesson

    • magicmikexxsm

      SUPPORTTEAXHERS Nobody begrudges them a pay raise, its the fact that they the teachers won’t even consider paying $80 a month for their own healthcare….why the rest of us scrimp and save to pay our school taxes..
      Now if I was the school district I’d drop their plan and sign them up on obamataxcare, see how they like it…

    • Robert

      I don’t vilify the dedicated professional, but there sure are a lot questionable representatives of the teaching profession making it hard to support your cause. Additionally the education system of our country makes it difficult to teach students how to learn, filling their brains with standardized crap. One size fits all is baloney to me, and I don’t see teachers standing up for that. They fall inline real fast. Go get your signs and make yourself known to the administration your position on common core, or no child left behind from previous years. Disciplinary action resulting headed toward termination for sure. Yet the teacher that can’t be an effective teacher but has been vested will keep his job and be defended by the union. If the supreme court decides No. 14-915, or PA House right to work (without Wolf), I’ll be all over the phone with my reps. Gods speed.

    • Jon

      Figure you contract out on your own time. Don’t let it affect the kids by going on strike 4 days after the school year started. Put the kids first!

    • Whassamatta

      SUPPORTTEXASHERS

      My income: $17,450 annual
      My health insurance: $4200 annual
      My Rx copays: $48,180 annual
      Luckily, I have enrolled in a grant program that helps pay for the ridiculously expensive medication that I require for my conditions – NOT diabetes, either.

      So, you tell me how someone who earns nearly 60K cannot organize their income to accommodate their living expenses. And, I am paying THEIR salaries!

      The education system should be disbanded and made the sole responsibility of parents and districts. No unions. No Feds. No bullshit. Just teach the kids and make it the noble profession that it once was.

  • Bob Calvey

    Union workers in the private sector more power to them public sector unions I don’t care who they are they need to realize who pays their salary go into real world see what’s out there 80 bucks a month I wish I was made that offer

  • Robert

    Enough trolling here, and my sincere apologies to those that are indeed in dire straights. People need to learn what is happening on the local level, and ignore the state and federal levels. It is the local level where grass roots movements begin. There is very little you can do about our Federal and state politics. Change starts at the local level, and a continued involvement in the politics of your city, town, village, borough and a commitment to stay involved.

  • Ted

    Teachers: “School district can’t afford to pay more? Screw you….pay us! Taxpayers can’t afford another tax increase? Screw you….pay us!”

  • Think Positive

    Now the students know that a few dollars is more important to some of their teachers than being in the classroom for the eager-to-learn students.

  • Lance

    Waah waah. They should quit their whining and realize that everyone has to pay for their healthcare including those people who make minimum wage. These teachers must think they are something special.

  • 1 + 1 = 3

    Professors at publicly run state universities in Pennsylvania must contribute towards their heath care premiums. Why should public school teachers be given preferential treatment?

    • Don't be bitter

      You post this under every article regarding the teachers’ health care. You’re union conceded to paying, why does that mean all should? I am a union member, not an educator though. I pay for my heath care, but I’m not mad that someone else doesn’t. Be mad at your union for not being stronger and sticking together. Don’t be mad at other middle class people who want to do better for their families.

      • Elizabeth

        Ever think that the very people who pay for these striking workers are having more and more taken from them and cannot afford their taxes to increase because greedy teachers won’t contribute to their healthcare at $80/month. Its sad and unacceptable. I wish they could all be fired and replaced … half of them aren’t worth the paper their names are on!!!

  • Stan

    This is over having to pay $80 a month for health insurance ?! Are you kidding me ?!! While parents pay well over a thousand a month thanks to the NEA endorsed almighty Obama ! This is GREED

Comments are closed.