Superintendent Speaks out About Scranton Teachers Strike

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SCRANTON -- The Scranton teachers strike continues on after late night negotiations with the district Wednesday night failed to reach an agreement.

Now the school superintendent herself is speaking out on the impasse.

Scranton teachers rallied outside the school district's administration building Thursday afternoon after a late night negotiating session with the school board ended after midnight with no resolution.

“We figured if we stayed just a little bit longer we would have hammered out our deal and contract negotiations would have been concluded with a tentative agreement. However only four school directors were willing to stand up and place children ahead of politics,” said Rosemary Boland, the president of the Scranton Federation of Teachers.

The teachers went on strike two weeks ago over contract disputes on salaries, benefits, and class sizes.

The teachers union accuses the district of not being willing to work with them on these issues, but Scranton Superintendent Dr. Alexis Kirijan says the unfortunate truth is the district just doesn't have the money.

“From a financial standpoint I believe the district board of directors have stretched themselves beyond what is even comfortable. The district really is broke,” said Dr. Kirijan.

Since the strike started, all after school activities and sports have been suspended.

“Our team at Scranton High School is number one and they had to forfeit a game. That was big to them. That's a big loss to our students,” said Boland.

At New Breed Fitness in Scranton, the gym is offering its services to all Scranton students free of charge.

Owner Jermaine Loughney says the Scranton teams have not been practicing during the strike.

“It's very important that they stay fit and be ready to play their sport. If they don't, you're going against kids that for the past two, three, four weeks that have been in shape and ready to go to work. If you're not ready, you can get hurt,” said Loughney.

Because of the strike, the annual Battle for the Bell football game between West Scranton and Scranton will not be played.

Dr. Kirijan says since that is a district event, it can be rescheduled and played at a later date.

6 comments

  • Frank DeNunzio II

    Want to get the teacher4s to give in — being that they refuse to pay into their medical benefits, maybe the district should just drop the benefits or go to one of those Obama type of plans with a $2000 to $4000 deductible, then maybe the teachers will realise how good they really have it…

    • rnasca

      In the real world if the strike went past the first of the following month many employers would not make that month’s contribution to the health care benefits. A further incentive to come to an agreement. Don’t even get me started on retroactive pay increases and the guaranteed 180 days of employment. Try that in the real world.

  • Brian B Calderone

    Hundreds of millions of us have done just fine through our lives after graduating from public schools where the student – teacher ratio was north of 30 students so, why can’t the superintendent tell the school board to reduce the number of teachers in order to satisfy the union’s thirst for more money?

    • rnasca

      Not only were there in excess of 30 students in the classroom but there was no such thing as “teachers aides”. The teachers did it all.

  • magicmikexxsm

    Look at this old bloviating big mouth hag… she said”However only four school directors were willing to stand up and place children ahead of politics,” what a crock of BS, that phrase is right out of the DNC playbook, you listen to any democrat politician and you hear that phrase, heck the Pa gov. was just spewing it the other day in Scranton. The only one playing politics here are the teachers, IF the cared about the kids they’d be in the class rooms teaching and being paid under their old contract, these people aren’t broke or down on their luck, YOU teachers are the one’s playing politics. face it Scranton’s BROKE the tax payers can’t afford much more up there…like I said in other post on here, If a teacher says they care about the children LAUGH right in their face.

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