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Strike threat grows at Peters Township School District

| Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, 10:26 p.m.

Teachers union officials said a strike seems more likely since they failed to reach an agreement with the Peters Township School District during a three-hour meeting Sunday.

The teachers' contract expired in August, and unless an agreement is reached soon, more than 200 teachers, counselors, librarians and nurses in the Washington County district could walk out Oct. 28.

District and union officials are scheduled to meet again Monday, Sunday and Oct. 27.

In a statement, Kris Bergman, president of the Peters Township Federation of Teachers, called the district's proposals Sunday “insulting.”

Bergman said the district “reneged on earlier agreements we reached over the summer.”

The district proposed that teachers pay more toward health care, in addition to working longer hours and more days, according to the federation.

Peters Township teachers' salaries for the 2014-15 school year ranged from $45,900 for a first-year teacher to $104,000 for a teacher with a master's degree.

Shelly Belcher, communications coordinator for the school district, said the federation came to the table with the same offer it made before.

The additional health care contributions would be offset by salary increases, Belcher said, and only teachers with family coverage and in the highest pay grade would feel the difference. But Bergman argued that the salary raises wouldn't be enough.

Elizabeth Behrman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7886 or lbehrman@tribweb.com.

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