Montrose Area Teachers Strike: By The Numbers
MONTROSE — More than 100 teachers walked off the job in Montrose Tuesday morning after not being able to reach a contract agreement.
They have been working under the terms of an old contract that ran out last August.
Salary is the main sticking point, but they still make more than teachers in many neighboring districts.
State figures show the average yearly salary of a Montrose Area teacher is $66, 664. That’s $8,000 a year more than the average teacher in our region makes.
Some people in Montrose say the striking teachers make too much to go on strike.
Montrose Area teachers average almost eight percent more than their counterparts in Susquehanna, Bradford, and Wyoming Counties.
Montrose teachers earn an average of 13 percent more than teachers in the WNEP viewing area, and they make seven percent more than the average teacher in Pennsylvania as a whole.
“Salary is just one of the reasons why we’re out here,” said Teri Evans, Montrose Education Association president.
Evans says teachers pay a higher percentage of their health insurance.
“There are some districts that are not paying a thing, and good for that teachers’ union. We have been paying into ours for the past 16 years.”
“Teachers are worth a lot of money in this district,” said Kerry Patton.
Patton is married to a teacher. But in the wake of the natural gas slump, Patton says teachers are asking for too much.
“This is not an economy that is going to be able to sustain what they’re seeking in salary increases.”
“Money-wise, it makes me a little upset at some of the stuff they do,” said Montrose resident Francine Geertgens.
But the head of the teachers’ union says it’s about results, not about times on the track, but tests in the classroom.
“Montrose has a reputation of being a terrific school. And we’ve earned that reputation by our fantastic AP test scores, our PSSA exams, our Keystone test scores,” said Evans.
That $66,000 average salary in Montrose places them in the top 13 percent of teachers in our area and top 28 percent of teachers in Pennsylvania.