State Rep. Introduces Bill To Ban Teachers Strikes In Pa.

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The sight of teachers striking makes the blood of many parents boil.

Some even held a counter-protest in one local school district last fall.

“Anytime that educators walk away from the kids that they’re supposed to care about, my kids don’t understand,” said Bethel Park parent Jamie Noel.

State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry Township, says it’s time to ban teacher strikes in Pennsylvania and he and other legislators have a bill to do just that.

“Thirty-seven out of 50 states do not allow for teachers strikes and Pennsylvania needs to become the 38th,” he says.

Bills like Metcalfe’s have been around for years, but he thinks recent strikes have helped his cause.

“We have more momentum this time around than we’ve ever had in the past.”

John Tarka leads the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers.

“It seems very similar to some of the efforts that we’ve seen in other states across the country to really diminish or eliminate the rights of middle class people to bargain for medical benefits, for their salary, for other issues,” says Tarka.

And Dan Carey of the Pennsylvania State Education Association says the right to strike leads to contracts that retain the best teachers.

“In states that don’t have bargaining, it’s not unusual for new teachers to leave the profession early,” he said.

Metcalfe believes banning teacher strikes will take public support.

“It is an uphill battle,” he says. “It has been for a long time. The power of the teachers’ union is almost second to none in Pennsylvania politics.”

While it’s very unlikely that any bill to ban teacher strikes will pass the legislature any time soon, just the very talk of such a ban is likely to impact school negotiations in 2011-2012 school year.

State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe
Pittsburgh Federation Of Teachers
Pennsylvania State Education Association

More from Jon Delano
  • LM

    Why only target educators? Why not ban ALL strikes in Pennsylvania? If they’re not willing to work for peanuts, they can simply go work for a district that IS willing to pay. If parents are happy with their children being taught by the teacher who is willing to work for the least amount of money, then I say give them what they want. I’m sure there are plenty of illegal immigrants who would love to be a teacher for under minimum wage.

  • swin

    Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are guaranteed by the Constitution. Funny how the same people who complain about losing their rights are the first ones willing to take away the rights of others when they become the employer.
    To the people of Pittsburgh: You will pay a Roethlisberger or a Crosby more in one year than you will pay your kid’s teacher for an entire career. Then, you will also build stadiums for them to play in so they can haul in even more loot while at the same time you have built only one new high school in nearly 85 years and none in the last 35 years. I taught in the city schools for 35 years – your kids deserve better.

  • Pitt Fan

    I love it how all the Republicans are piling on teachers and blaming them for all the problems facing the state/country.

    Yes, it’s the high school science teacher making $55,000 a year who is causing problems. How dare he live in a 3 bedroom house and drive a Kia?!? The gravy train is over!

    This is nothing but an attempt at union busting and it’s pathetic.

  • Sad in BP

    We live in Bethel Park, and we used to be 100% behind the teachers. I believe teachers deserve good salarlies and decent benefits. But this strike has made me very disappointed and disillusioned with the teachers. The strke, in the midst of economic chaos, solved nothing. The state union reps apparently come down heavily putting pressure on each local union. BP teachers are paid well. Many are good; but some are lousy and the rigid union systems protects the lousy teachers and enables incompetence. THere is no accountability. The union reps in the schools actually scold people for working more than their allotted time. Teaching is a calling, and people with a love for kids want to be teachers, but the union mentality smothers that sense of calling. If teachers want to be treated like professionals and paid like professionals, then they should act that way

  • Sad in BP

    One more thought….. Why do the union leaders insist that all votes are standup/sitdown? Many teachers would vote against going on strike. The leadership has a stranglehold. Why not take a paper ballot. Teachers, be courageous and speak out against union manipulation and control…

  • Bethel Park parent

    When teachers strike, they risk NOTHING: they keep their jobs, retain benefits, and receive full salary. Before an employee in a private sector union job strikes, (s)he weighs the risks involved, which can include loss of all the above. Teacher unions serve only the interests of adults, not those of the children.

    The teacher’s union in Bethel Park has served for years to protect mediocre teachers and force the exemplary teachers to accept merely what pay the mediocre receive. If Bethel Park was evaluating it’s teachers for performance and getting rid of the under-performing, I would be first in line to call for higher salaries for the top-performing teachers. What a concept!!– you work hard and perform your job well and you are rewarded for it. And, yes, it IS done, EVEN in the teaching profession, all over the world.
    Just not in Bethel Park, nor apparently anywhere in PA.

  • Terry

    It’s time to talk about cutting legislators salaries as well as the size of the state legislature in Pa!!!!!!! It’s called shared sacrifice!!!! If you want to ban teachers strikes then it’s time for the state to get on the sacrifice bandwagon

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