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Duquesne city school teachers call off strike

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Sunday, June 8, 2014, 9:36 p.m.

Teachers with the Duquesne public schools called off a strike that had been scheduled for Monday.

The Duquesne Education Association said its 35 members voted to stay on the job because of worries about the safety of district pupils. A union statement said district officials planned to keep the school open, leaving nine district administrators and the school support staff in charge of more than 350 pupils from kindergarten to sixth grade, which the union said would lead to unsafe conditions.

The union called for a work stoppage in a bid to gain mandatory nonbinding arbitration over an extended contract dispute.

“We have been trying in good faith to settle our contract for over 30 months,” DEA President Monica Walker said in the statement. “We have gone to fact-finding, accepted the fact-finder's report, and have done everything possible to reach a fair and equitable settlement.”

Sarah McCluan, contracted spokeswoman for the district, said administrators look forward to completing the school year, which is scheduled to end on Tuesday.

“Notwithstanding the allegations... the safety of the students and staff has never and will never be consciously compromised,” she said.

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