Riverside Teachers Plan to Strike Monday

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TAYLOR -- Teachers in the Riverside School District in Lackawanna County gave notice Thursday that they will be going on strike come Monday.

The strike notice comes about a month after teachers announced their intention to walkout.

Riverside's teachers' union actually set this strike date on Super Bowl Sunday. Union officials told Newswatch 16 they gave the district that time to gather information and to negotiate.

A negotiation session Wednesday night didn't go well. So, the teachers announced Thursday that they will strike Monday.

Teachers in the Riverside School District postponed a strike at the beginning of the month. Officials said they hoped the four week break would bring clarity and a contract. Teachers in the district that covers Taylor and Moosic have been working without one since 2013.

But, the month only delayed the inevitable.

Union officials said they asked administrators to come to the table with new information. Both sides say negotiations did not improve.

"Basically, the Riverside Education Association asked the district to go back and get numbers from the proposals from last time, and when we went back and got the numbers, the numbers were quite alarming. They met last night in negotiations and it didn`t go very well. So, all indicators are saying that the teachers will be on strike on Monday," said Riverside Superintendent Paul Brennan.

Brennan said the biggest hang up in negotiations is teacher salaries. Riverside teachers are the third highest paid in Lackawanna County.

Some parents think they should be paid more.

"They do hard work, they do wonderful work, but the kids suffer by having to, you know, lose out on activities and they suffer because at the end of the school year they have to go longer," said parent Ann McDonald.

There is a state limit to how late into June students can be in school. Brennan said since the rough winter has already affected the school schedule, the teachers don't have too many available days to strike.

"In my calculations I don`t think they`re going to have a long time at all to strike. However, any strike right now is not a good thing for the students or for staff as well," Brennan added.

The State Department of Education will determine how long Riverside's strike can last on Monday. The teachers' union said only one negotiating session was scheduled over the past month. But, union officials said, if the district comes to the table, they will negotiate during the strike.

8 comments

  • Gimmee More

    WNEP should do a report tomorrow on just how much time the teachers spend on the picket line.

  • Brian B Calderone

    The PSEA teachers union has been successful, so far, in Locally Controlling our legislators. Just followthemoney.org to discover how much of your property tax dollars are being funneled to legislative campaigns, maintaining the PSEA’s strangle hold on you.

  • T. Moore

    At this point fire any teacher that goes on strike.
    Don’t like the offer that’s on the table? Blame the Sr. teachers that are close to 6 figure salaries with benefits & pensions nobody has.

  • Paul

    I only wish ALL schools in Luzerne County went on strike so as they all could be fired, and hence, the bail out of the high pensions and high school taxes put upon the aging property owners. I KNOW I ain’t getting my money’s worth.

  • Underworked and overpaid

    “They do hard work, they do wonderful work, but the kids suffer by having to, you know, lose out on activities and they suffer because at the end of the school year they have to go longer,” said parent Ann McDonald.
    Ann Ann Ann, it’s 180 school days a year, if they have to go in and work a few Saturdays, so be it.

  • My Dog Is Smarter Than You

    How about this offer, dear teachers union. You may strike, essentially extorting more money from your tax payers, when, and ONLY when, the students of Riverside excel at each and every subject. We in the everyday world call it accountability and earning your pay. Until the students are at the top of each measuring category, get back in the classroom and do your jobs. Then we’ll talk.

  • WNEP needs real reporters

    They are not working without a contract, they are still adhered to the existing contract. That’s why the teachers have not been fired. Without a contract, due process can be expedited.

  • No Copays

    Just in time as the weather is set to warm up next week. If you drive by the picket line be sure not to blink if you want to see them since the teachers only picket part time….just like they teach.

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