Wyoming Area School Board Rejects Arbitrator’s Decision; Teachers On Strike

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Teachers from one district in Luzerne County say they will strike for one day after failing to settle a labor dispute with school officials.

The Wyoming Area School District will be closed Wednesday as teachers plan to walk the picket line, the second time they’ve done so this school year.

Despite being rejected by the Wyoming Area School Board, these teachers in the district say they`re not going down without a fight.

Donning t-shirts announcing they are now on strike, they are pushing back against the board`s decision to turn down an agreement that would end a labor dispute.

“It`s a response to their inability to negotiate with us, they haven`t done so in eight months,” said Melissa Dolman, the president of the Wyoming Area Education Association.


Teachers met with the board here at Wyoming Area High School where the board rejected a ruling made by arbitrator who found in favor of salary and healthcare demands made by the union.

The teachers had already unanimously agreed to that arbitrator's decision and several times during the special meeting tempers flared.

Back in September the teachers walked the picket line for 23 days.

Students and parents say they`ve had enough of this fighting.

“If they really cared about us they`d be here teaching us and it`s not fair,” said senior Brianna Shinko.

“I just want it to stop, I think the school board should have settled and we should get back to normal and get back to education and educating the students,” said senior Kevin Carroll.

“They`re acting worse than the kids do, it`s horrible, it`s their senior year and there is no senior year for these kids,” said parent Valerie Reno.

“We`re important too, that`s why they`re teachers and if they`re going to be teachers they should be caring about the students and it`s never mentioned,” said senior Victoria Reno.

Seniors are being told they still have to report for a half day on Wednesday.

The teachers plan to strike in front of the Wyoming Area High School Wednesday from 8 to 11 am.


  • Riverfront sage

    Way to go School Board!!! As a tax payer and voter in the WA neighborhood, I refuse to pay more in tax for a lackluster job. I would feel a little bit different if this were the best school and district in all the state (and we all know that isn’t true, is it?) Fair is fair and since I work in the private sector, I know what I am required to do to keep my job and to pay for benefits. Getting teachers to do approximately the same is only fair to everyone.

    Stand your ground! My daughters are victims of the strikes and while they have really screwed up school, I would have the whole thing happen again to drive home the point to the Teachers Union. Reach a fair settlement, that doesn’t fleece the tax payers and I will support both sides.

    Speaking to both sides, remember, there is a finite amount of money in the pie. Take a fair share in tax, spend it wisely like it is your own money and offer a fair contract for a job well done. Otherwise, voters like me will replace the board and eliminate the union. Enough is enough says this voter and taxpayer.

    • Can't buy you common sense...

      Dearest Sage, you just showed your ignorance with the comment about the cars parked in the faculty lot. None of the teachers were on the school property today. The only cars parked in the faculty parking area belonged to administrators and seniors! Those poor seniors are forced to drive those luxury cars you are speaking of. The nicest touch was when one senior drove both in and out of the parking lot giving her teachers the middle finger the entire time. Shows some top-notch parenting was given to her. These are the little darlings my children have to put up with in class each day. If it were up to me, I would give each of my children’s teachers whatever salary they asked for. They deserve it for putting up with the nonsense posted about them daily by people who are both disrespectful and ridiculous.

      • mbyers@processtechnologies.com

        Would you really give these teachers whatever salary they want? Give me a break. I bet your were one of the teachers with a sign on that says, “Better contract = Better Education”.

      • Riverfront sage

        In Reply to Can’t buy…

        If the parking lot were a secure lot with restricted access, I would agree with you. In reality, it is about as secure as a grocery store. Please ask the picketers if they knew they were allowed to park there or not and I will be willing to bet you find some who don’t know or didn’t care. But since you brought it up, why are the students parking in the faculty lot anyway? So much for obeying the rules!

        While we are a bit more affluent than some districts, do not hold ‘poor seniors’ in distain for the cars that their parents provide to them. Some parents have worked hard and are able to afford what they have and provide for thier children. The cars didn’t belong to either of my daughters. They ride the bus to and from school and will for their entire career at WA.

        Please direct your comments to the parents of those children who do not care to teach good character values of mutual respect and personal integrity. Something is obviously missing as you evidenced by the senior you mentioned. My issue is with those too busy to teach their children because they are working in an effort to keep up appearances, overspending on status items instead of raising good kids.

        I agree with you that no one deserves to be trashed for doing their job. Everyone needs to grow up and get rid of the nonsense, even those with whom I don’t agree. Unfortunately, it seems to be a fact of life for now. I don’t allow it to occur in my family. Hopefully this doesn’t occur in yours as well, but by your comment in reply, I am not so sure.

        Surrendering in your manner and giving whatever salary is asked for, because of what they put up with every day, is completely irresponsible and I can’t go along with it.

        Keep this argument about a fair contract that doesn’t fleece the taxpayers or penalize the students. We can have a seperate conversation about how to bring more respect into our neighborhoods and classrooms at a different time. Regards.

    • Enough

      Knowing the area is irrelevant; employees participating in a strike are not allowed to park on the property. So that faculty lot was not filled with faculty cars yesterday. Before you make asinine comments, know a little about what you’re talking aboutt.

  • Reality

    I think it’s funny how people say, “get a different job.” There is a huge difference between a job and a career. Teaching is a career. Teaching requires education, dedication and commitment. Any idiot can get a job.

  • Dave S.

    It is a sad state of affairs when the compensation for a public employee is not based on the input of the public. There is no initiative for a teacher to perform at a higher level when no negative consequences exist for poor performance. This is where the union is at fault for harboring lack luster employees simply for the payment of union dues. Unions are not necessary in a free market! if you don’t like your benefits GET OUT and join the rest of us who are paying your way. The teachers and the union should be absolutely ashamed of the behaviors they are teaching our children…And they wonder why they can’t get the kids to do their work??

  • Jim

    I love the sign carried by one of the teachers:Better contract-better education.Do you mean that you’ll step up your game for more money?Doubt it,you’ll continue on just getting more.All I can say for these teachers with these sweet contracts is,GREEDY,GREEDY,GREEDY.Fire them all and start over.No sympaty here leeches.

  • howard

    Very glad the school board voted them down/ The last school contract the previous board gave them a sweetheart deal under the table with paid medical thru the life of the contract and the people responded by voting in new school board members. Stand your ground as that was what we elected you for. The time has come for the teachers to start contributing towards their medical. We are now paying $80.00 a week towards our Blue Cross and Blue Shield($320.00 a month). Wake up teachers.

  • E

    I’d love to hear an example of how teachers teach, “how to becomes a depentdent entitlement world.”

    I love the hypocracy here…. “Get a job, you bum.” vs. “How dare you get paid a fair and professional wage!”

  • ME2

    I drove by the school today to watch all the teachers standing there with their coffees laughing away. I took a look in the parking lot and up and down the streets at cars they drive, all very high end, and it made me even madder that they want more money.

    Most people have not seen raises in years, we all pay high premiums, copays and deductibles just to keep our familys insured. Some cant no longer afford benefits and out taxes just keep going up to support teachers who do not teach our children. The statement that I love that keeps coming out of there mouths is “if we get paid more, we can teach better” WHAT! All that tells me is that you have not been teach to your full capacity now. If anything you should get a reduction in pay or be fired.

    Finaly ellected officials of the people did the right thing by rejecting the proposal. They did what was right and what the tax payers believe. Tax payers and WA can no longer afford to give what little money they earn to teachers who are gready.

    All the teachers teach is how to becomes a depentdent entitlement world.

    This needs to stop. Cyberschools are looking better and better and if all parents sent there kids there, teachers would be on the unemployment line like many of the familes that send there kids to public school.

    • Enough

      How did you know what cars belonged to teachers as opposed to residents who live on that street, or administration, or seniors who had to report to school? Secondly, I’ve seen unemployed people driving nicer cars than an average hard-working taxpayer (who contributes to the unemployment/welfare that supports said individuals)… Poor choice of judgment. What do you drive, and what’s your job title? I want to make sure it’s an appropriate match.

      • Riverfront sage

        For those of us actuallu know what is going on, there is a parking lot for faculty. The cars were there, not on the street. Before you make an asinine comment, know a little about what you are talking about. It is pretty obvious that you aren’t more familiar with the area or the situation.

  • E

    “Whatever happened to being grateful just for having a job?”

    Yes, those good ole days when the American dream was to be grateful just for having a job. Wait, is that how it was? No, it seems like people used to strive for more, not less.
    You people are allowing the middle class to be elininated. Unions set a standard that other employers must follow to remain competitive. I’m not talking greed or avarice, just maintaining a comfortable standard of living without constant fear of financial disaster. Eliminate the unions, and you eliminate the standard….. everyone below the top few percent will eventually make less. Think about it. Where will the pennies be pinched from once the unions are no longer here to be blamed?
    Maybe instead of trying to shame others out of standing up for themselves, you should follow their example. Stop supporting policies that help the wealthy gain while you continue to backslide.

  • anonymous

    First off the teachers are working just about a half a year, and are asking for all benefits to be paid for including deductible and co pays. I work a full time job all year around and still have to pay my co pays and deductibles with my insurance. Why should my tax money go up to pay for yours. You have the summer off go get a part time job if you cant afford it. Second off its sad to say but half the teachers are under educated and Wyoming Area, what are board should be more concerned is making the teachers take the state test that the students have to, to make sure they are capable of actually teaching the subjects to the students. To sum it up if these teachers are unhappy with all this and continue to demand more money and everything paid for on the insurance, go find a job im sure McDonalds need help.

    • Former WA Student

      Well, we can all see from your grammar that you’d make a wonderful teacher. Your entire comment is riddled with errors, most notably the use of “are” instead of “our”. Well done.

  • scarolina

    Is this not what really defines a thug and the teachers to really be? According to the definition of a “thug”. Def. thug: ( a member of an organization of robbers ) . They are constantly are robbing the taxpayers at contract times. Read it and weep teachers this is what you and your membership is being defined as here and many places throughout this country. This is how far you have degraded the profession in the view of the people who sign your paycheck. Time for the taxpayers to ship you all out permanently and start all over again. Now is the time for the taxpayers to strike the match. This will give them the whole summer to get ready for next year and have real control over the future of their children’s education system.

  • mdog

    I didn’t ask for a raise in over 10 yrs because i know
    and realize these are hard times.Fact is everything
    in this state needs to be recalculated in the Tax paid

  • jellystoneranger

    This is what happens when unions buy your state reps and senators! They fear nothing ! Throw these people out of office for not representing the people ! The laws have got to be changed . Wake up and take the fight to Harrisburg !

  • Chris

    I am close to getting my teaching degree and I would LOVE to come back to NEPA and be a teacher. Be thankful people you have jobs.

  • howard

    The time has come for the teachers to start paying towards their medical costs/ The free ride is over/ Very glad the board did not cave in to their demands.

  • lindal

    Like I said on another post, don’t like your job quit. I am sure there are a lot of other people that would take your job. Try working all year long with no summer breaks, no paid vacations and no health care. You would not like it.

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