UPDATE: Teachers on Strike in Line Mountain

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UPDATE THURSDAY -- Teachers are required to return to class by October 5, according to a PSEA representative.

The next school board meeting will be Tuesday September 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school library.

TREVORTON -- Teachers in the Line Mountain School District in Northumberland County hit the picket lines Wednesday over a contract dispute that's been dragging on for years, and the teachers had some company.

While the teachers picketed in front of Line Mountain Elementary School in Trevorton, some students across the street made signs of their own, protesting the strike.

Around 100 teachers in the Line Mountain School District picketed in front of the elementary school in Trevorton. The teachers are on strike, just eight days after the start of the school year.

The teachers say it's been three years since they've had a contract, and six years since they've had a raise.

"As we try to negotiate and we bend, and we come down and we try to work with the board, we always get to the answer that's no. That's too much. You're not good enough. You're a dime a dozen," Mark Shearer said.

But the teachers were not the only ones on the picket line. Some kids even went as far as making their own signs to let the teachers know they don't want them to be on strike and they want to be back in school.

"We put the signs up because we feel it's not right for the teachers to strike. They should have gone on strike over the summer because we're going back to school the day after Christmas which isn't right and we're the ones suffering," Alexis Yost said.

"We just got on a schedule and now we have to go back and adjust to it," Kerstin Sampsell said.

"I hope they can realize we need to go back to school, that it's not fair to the kids," Yost said.

Some parents we spoke with agree.

"I think it takes away from the kids' education. It takes Christmas away," Danielle Shaffer said.

Mark Shearer is the president of the Line Mountain Education Association. He says teachers will find out later this week how long they are allowed to strike. He also says they would like to be in school, but felt there was no other option.

"And I think the question we've been asking ourselves is after six years and constantly being told no, well what about our kids? What about my family," Shearer asked.

The Line Mountain School Board has a statement on the district's website regarding the strike. It says the district is standing firm on its counter offer that was presented to the teachers last month.

5 comments

  • N.w. Campbell MEd Msit

    I guess the thing that gets me about the US public education system and the way that it is structured is that the best is always demanded out of our teachers that money can buy but we as citizen’s want “the best” for next to nothing or at a discounted rate. If we as local citizens want the same quality education that a top ranking school district provides and pays for, there will be a cost associated with the demand…its simple economics!

  • Tim Yordy

    Scott – they could have had a contract years ago. When you are offered a contract and keep rejecting it, the fault is your own. Have you read what they were offered? The offer from the school district is very generous and they still want more!

  • Scott Berger

    Rnasca, are you serious, no contract in three years and no raise in six years, very sad. As for Linda Long, these teachers are trying to bargain in fair faith, they were left no choice but to walk. Whether you two realize it or not, unions have fought for a lot of the things you enjoy today, that is if you are truly working…

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