Students return to class in Shaler as teachers strike ends
Nearly 4,700 students returned to class on Friday in the Shaler Area School District after a teachers strike that delayed the start of the school year by more than a week.
“I was happy but sad at the same time,” said Shaler Area Elementary fifth-graderRieley Herman.
Teachers and district officials ratified a five-year contract on Wednesday. The strike began Sept. 3, more than two years after the union's contract expired.
“We're all ready to be back,” said Kristin Zientek, a fifth-grade teacher at the elementary school. “All the kids seem really happy. ... The smiles seem bigger this year.”
The contract settles disagreements on health care premiums but does not address quarrels about teacher salary increases, a matter that school administrators hope to resolve in coming weeks through binding arbitration.
The contract is retroactive to August 2011 and runs through Aug. 15, 2016.
The district is slated to begin arbitration with union officials as soon as next month. The three-member panel's decision will be non-negotiable.
The strike could have lasted until Sept. 23.
“It was very stressful not knowing, but we're glad to be back,” said Dina Persichetti of Shaler, whose daughter attends Rogers Primary School.
Superintendent Wes Shipley visited each school and welcomed staff and students.
“The best part of the year is the first days of school, so we're glad to have them here,” Shipley said.
School officials used time caused by the delayed start to tackle additional maintenance projects, such as painting.
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-772-6364.
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.
- Pirates notebook: Trade rumors for Red Sox pitcher Lester still swirling
- After years of lobbying, Roethlisberger has Steelers regularly running no-huddle
- Steelers notebook: Brown calls Sanders’ comments about Roethlisberger ‘terrible’
- Pirates stumble in bid for sweep, lose to Giants, 7-5
- Steelers hold high hopes for pass defense
- 1 person dead in fire in Pleasant Hills
- Steelers to retire Joe Greene’s jersey number
- Steelers offensive linemen looking to build on strong 2013 finish
- Wiz Khalifa’s life not the same, but he’s still having fun
- South Park athletic trainer promotes a healthy lifestyle
- 30 cited for blocking street at union rally