| Neighborhoods

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Shaler Area teachers to strike if no summer deal

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

North Hills Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Bethany Hofstetter
Monday, June 17, 2013, 7:31 p.m.

Shaler Area teachers will exercise their right to strike if the union and district officials cannot reach a contract agreement over the summer.

On June 13, Shaler Area Education Association (SAEA) representation delivered a strike notice to the district administration saying that a strike will begin on the first scheduled school day for students, Sept. 3.

“It's unfortunate that it has come to this,” said Melissa Ravas, president of the SAEA, which represents 380 teachers. “SAEA has been working tirelessly over the last 30 months to avoid a work stoppage and to reach a fair and equitable settlement. Unfortunately, the board has not been reasonable. They actually presented a regressive proposal during fact-finding, which moved us further apart.”

Shaler Area teachers have been working under the terms of the previous contract since it expired Aug. 15, 2011, and union and district officials have been meeting since January 2011 to negotiate a new contract.

The district requested a second fact-finding report, the maximum allowed during a negotiations process, which was delivered May 20. Though it was approved by the school board, the union rejected it twice during the two required votes.

In November, the Shaler Area Education Association voted to authorize the union leadership to call a strike.

Under the collective bargaining legislation, teachers are required to give 48 hours' notice.

Superintendent Wes Shipley said if the teachers do choose to strike, the negotiations will move to “last best offer arbitration” during which time the district and union will state their cases in front of an arbitrator who also will have the fact-finder's report and would issue a nonbinding settlement.

School Board President James Giel said the school board plans to continue to negotiate with the union negotiation team and, in an open letter to the teachers' union dated June 7, offered 34 possible dates over the summer for the parties to meet.

“We will invite them back … and vigorously try to negotiate this contract over the summer months,” Giel said earlier this month.

The complete text of the fact-finder's report is available on the district's website at The next negotiation session has not yet been scheduled.

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read North Hills

  1. Move in age group nets dividends for Franklin Park tennis player
  2. NA grad formulates bath, beauty products with natural ingredients
  3. North Hills grad earns ‘principal of the year’ honor
  4. Wexford Health-hosted program to raise awareness of food allergies
  5. Drone to help Northern Regional police zone in on missing, fleeing people
  6. Bridge work to close Little Pine Creek Road in Shaler
  7. Photo Gallery: Marshall Community Day
  8. Photo Gallery: St. Athanasius Parish Festival