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Outlaw teacher strikes

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Letter to the Editor
Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
 

Outlaw teacher strikes

My wife and I have nine children, all graduates of the public school system and successful college graduates, several with advanced degrees. I am a retired CPA and chief financial officer and served as a school director (Franklin Regional) for 16 years. My greatest concern is the ability, under the law, of teachers to strike in connection with failed negotiations. This gives teachers unions, in essence, greater power than school boards, the only ones given legal and responsible authority for the public school system.

Is that fair or even reasonable?

Teachers unions may strike and withhold their services for a period of time, holding the education of children hostage, and the school districts have no recourse. Who is in charge, or rather, who would like to take charge?

I am aware that this is Pennsylvania, with its strong tradition of unions! But the Legislature has allowed this travesty to take place, and it is past time that this unbalanced relationship stop.

Change the law to prohibit such strikes, and restrict negotiations to salaries and health and pension benefits to fulfill the requirements as defined by school boards.

The same approach should also apply to police, firefighters and other public-service groups.

If a school board and teachers union cannot reach a negotiated agreement, after a reasonable period of time, the issues should be submitted to an established independent arbitrator for binding arbitration.

John Weagraff

Richland

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