The Shaler strike: 'Professionals' once again do the unprofessional thing
Shaler Area School District teachers opened the 2013-14 school year Tuesday not by greeting their students with encouraging smiles and extolling the limitless possibilities of what they could learn but by going on strike.
Thus, “professionals” did the unprofessional thing. And more than 4,000 Shaler students will pay the price for their “role models'” pique.
Shaler teachers have been without a contract since August 2011. Negotiations, ongoing since January of that year, have failed to produce an agreement. Salary and health care contributions are said to be the sticking points. Just how far apart the sides are — or how close — hasn't been made public.
Under state law, and a prerequisite court order, Shaler teachers will have to end their strike on Sept. 20. The Shaler Area Education Association has vowed to remain off the job until there's a contract or a judge orders them back into the classroom. Perhaps they can stamp their feet and hold their breath until they turn blue, too.
The Shaler strike breaks an odd one-year period in which there were no public school teacher strikes in Pennsylvania. And there likely will be more this school year. But how sad it is that among the Pennsylvania Legislature's priorities when it returns for its fall session — on Sept. 23, the same day Shaler teachers would have to return — outlawing teacher strikes isn't one of them.
So, once again, a union swings its strike cudgel and smacks hard the very people its members are charged with serving. What a sad lesson.
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.