AP NEWS

Tunkhannock Area Teachers Set Strike Date

January 17, 2018

Tunkhannock Area School District teachers plan to strike on April 23, according to a notice the union submitted to the district.

Jim Maria, who represents the Tunkhannock Area Education Association through the Pennsylvania State Education Association, said the strike notice was issued because the district wasn’t giving the contract the full attention it needed. The contract expired last summer.

Maria said the board’s attention was focused on consolidation, construction and concerns about a possible charter school coming to the area.

“We didn’t want to pressure them into some hasty action, like striking sooner, but we felt it would be in the best interest of the district to get this matter out of the way, so they can shift their focus on to other issues,” he said.

During a school board meeting on Thursday, lead negotiator and board member Bill Prebola said no breakthroughs had been made, and the board would continue to try to work things out with the teachers.

At a town hall meeting in November, Prebola said that having teachers pay more toward their health care benefits was a primary sticking point.

After being apprised of the strike date, Tunkhannock School Board President Phil Farr said Tuesday, the board was disappointed.

“We still have meetings scheduled and will continue to negotiate,” he said. “If things change, we’ll let the public know.”

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bbaker@wcexaminer.com 570- 836-2123