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Keystone Oaks teacher strike averted

| Thursday, March 30, 2017, 7:51 a.m.
The Keystone Oaks Education Association and district officials reached an agreement in last-minute negotiations to avoid a strike Thursday, March 30, 2017.

The Keystone Oaks Education Association and district officials reached an agreement in last-minute negotiations to avoid a strike Thursday.

On Monday, the KOEA gave a 48-hour notice to the school district of its intent to strike, according to a news release on the school's website.

District officials met with the KOEA on Tuesday and resumed talks Wednesday in an attempt to prevent the strike. Negotiators said they didn't plan on leaving until a fair contract is signed.

Both parties had until midnight to reach an agreement, but a spokesperson for the teachers said they would continue negotiating past that time if the conversations continued to progress.

The tentative agreement was reached about 1 a.m. Thursday.

WPXI-TV's Jennifer Tomazic reported that the agreement is a one-year extension of the contract that expired in June.

With band trips, musicals and other school activities around the corner, students said Wednesday they couldn't help but worry.

"I don't think anyone really saw this coming from a mile away," said freshman Vincent Jackson.

Jeff DiGiacomo, who has four children in the district, said he is in support of teachers getting a fair contract.

"We want them to get a fair contract. Nobody wants a strike. Nobody wants any of the kids to miss any classes or anything like that. We're just here to show our support and hope they come out with a deal tonight," DiGiacomo said Wednesday.

Teachers had been in talks with the district since July.

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