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Scranton teachers reach tentative deal, ending strike

November 20, 2021 GMT

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — Teachers reached a tentative contract agreement Friday with the Scranton School District, ending a 12-day strike.

Students will return to class on Monday for the first time since Nov. 2 after union and district negotiators agreed on the terms of a new deal. Teachers had been working without a contract for more than four years.

Contract details were not released to give the 800 members of the Scranton Federation of Teachers time to review it. A vote will take place on Tuesday, according to the union.

Union President Rosemary Boland said she was “thrilled” to have reached an agreement.

“We said throughout the strike that we can’t cut our way to recovery and leave educators and students worse off. We now have to reverse course and invest more in our schools so we can give our kids the opportunity to have a quality foundation for the rest of their lives,” she said.

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The district did not immediately comment on the settlement. On Wednesday, the district said it had sweetened its contract offer but that the union’s counterproposal was “unaffordable, even if taxes were to be raised.”

Democrats and labor leaders had appealed to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled legislature for relief from the district’s financial recovery plan, and suggested using federal aid to boost teacher salaries. Some laid blame for the strike on the school-funding policies of the Legislature’s longstanding GOP majorities.