Share This Page

Pine-Richland teachers give authority to call strike

| Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 7:30 p.m.

The Pine-Richland Education Association voted to authorize a strike last week as the next step in ongoing contract negotiations.

The teachers union will continue to negotiate with the Pine-Richland School Board, but the strike- authorization vote allows teachers to call a strike if necessary under the state's Act 88.

Contract negotiations have been ongoing for more than two years.

“No one wants a strike,” PREA President Trent Matteson said in a statement. “However, in making this decision, the membership of the PREA has clearly indicated to the board that we will take any and all steps available to us under Pennsylvania law in order to reach a contract settlement that treats all members of our union fairly and equitably.”

The issues that remain are a district-proposed pay freeze for teachers at the top of the salary schedule and an increase in how much teachers contribute out-of-pocket for health insurance and board opposition to an early-retirement incentive proposed by the union, which would be “a cost savings to the district and would save the taxpayers' resources,” said Fritz Fekete, a Pennsylvania State Education Association field program communications consultant for the union.

“Teachers in Pine-Richland are very concerned that through the life of the contract they will lose competitiveness with other school districts in the North Hills area,” Fekete said. “We don't want to lose ground in terms of the best and the brightest.”

The teachers' contract expired at the end of June 2012, and they have been working under the terms of the old contract since then. The union represents about 335 teachers.

Rachel Farkas is a staff reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at rfarkas@tribweb.com.

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.