SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP -- Teachers in the Abington Heights School District in Lackawanna County will not be going on strike this Thursday as originally planned. They called off their strike as negotiation sessions continue, and in the midst of a lot of public scrutiny.
Four days into the school year and students are just starting to get comfortable at South Abington Elementary. The teachers' strike planned for Thursday would have put it all on pause.
"Since they just started last week, they don`t really understand why they would not be coming," said parent Tori Yankow.
But now the kids will continue to play and learn. The teachers union president handed a letter to the Abington Heights superintendent at the latest negotiating session, explaining the union was cancelling its plan to strike on Thursday.
"It was a surprise, but it was a pleasant surprise and looks like we will not be striking this week, we are all happy to hear," said Abington Heights School District Superintendent Michael Mahon.
Teachers union president Jim Maria said he cancelled the strike so he could focus on contract negotiations with the district, not on the strike. He also said if he had waited longer to call off the strike, it wouldn't have been enough notice for schools to remain open Thursday.
Parents say they're happy things will continue as normal.
"My daughter just started kindergarten and she loves it, and for me to have to tell her you go to school for five days and now you can`t go to school, I didn`t want to break her heart. So I was really thrilled," said parent Bonnie Yoder.
The union can still decide to strike at any time, but must give the district 48 hours notice. Parents like Bonnie Yoder hope that won't happen.
"I do hope that both parties can be happy because it really does affect the kids. That`s the main concern is the kids," said Yoder.
Both sides said there's still a ways to go until they reach an agreement.