East Allegheny officials confirm strike, notify parents
In a letter mailed to parents and guardians on Thursday, East Allegheny School District said the school year will not begin as scheduled.
The school board's letter confirmed the East Allegheny Education Association's position, which the teachers shared at Wednesday's nearly three-hour negotiating session.
“The teachers have advised that they intend to strike beginning Sept. 2, and we will resume school as soon as the strike is over,” the letter states. “This will affect all students in pre-K through 12th grade who attend the East Allegheny School District buildings.”
The strike will affect the Class of 2015's commencement ceremony, which no longer is scheduled for June 12. A new graduation date will be set when the school calendar is adjusted to reflect necessary makeup days.
The letter reminds parents that Pennsylvania state law requires all students to have 180 days of instruction by June 30.
Confirmation of a work stoppage is the most recent development in a contract dispute between the association and the district, where teachers have been working without a contract since June 2012.
The teachers' bargaining team offered an amended contact package to district negotiators two weeks ago, and that proposal was declined on Wednesday during a final attempt to resolve their dispute before the school year's scheduled start. The 133-member association previously agreed to strike if no agreement could be reached.
“There is no agreement. So as of right now, we will not be starting school on Tuesday,” education association president Cheryl Ihnat said on Wednesday. “We are open to coming back to the table, but I'm sure that's not going to happen.”
Ihnat said the district offered a counterproposal that does not meet the staff's needs. The proposal remained virtually unchanged in the union's eyes, with Ihnat calling it “unreasonable and unrealistic.”
District officials, however, said they're doing their best.
“We have worked tirelessly with the East Allegheny Education Association in an effort to come to an agreement for a new contract,” the school board wrote. “However, we have not been able to agree on a contract that the school district can afford at this time.”
Throughout nego-tiations, the district has said it is seeking a contact that would keep any real estate tax increase to a minimum, saying its proposal would mean an increase from 27.54 mills to 28.28 mills.
District officials said the teachers' proposal would raise taxes by at least 4 mills.
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport woman headed to trial on arson charge
- Fast-moving storms strand Mon Valley motorists
- Replacement fire chief, safety issues to top McKeesport agenda
- Experts offer Fourth of July safety tips
- Steel Valley looks for replacements for 2 principals
- Former Kennywood worker held for court on child porn charges
- Brewster picked for Smith’s seat on Senate Appropriations Committee
- Community gardens in McKeesport, Steel Valley area give options to local growers
- Jerome Bridge traffic signals removed in McKeesport
- Projects to impact McKeesport motorists
- Motorists, municipalities brace for Mifflin Road closing