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Parents, Students Wait As Shaler Teachers Threaten Strike

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Mary Robb Jackson Mary Robb Jackson
Mary Robb Jackson joined KDKA-TV as a general assignment reporter in...
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SHALER (KDKA) — A teacher’s strike is looming.

“Nobody wants it. I don’t think anybody’s or it. The kids are ready to go back,” says parent, Pam Robinson.

Shaler parents received a letter from the superintendent, dated Aug. 14. It spells out the situation: teachers have given official notice that they will strike if a contract is not agreed upon.

“There’s two sides to every story, I just want it settled and done – and over with and the kids back,” Robinson said.

Pam has four children in the district, 11-year-old twins to a 16-year-old.

Her friend Dianne Grillo has five children chomping at the bit, ages 4 through 16.

“I feel the same way as I’m sure the other moms do – where I’m ready for them to go back – they’re ready to go back,” she said. “We hearing ‘I’m bored, I’m bored already.'”

After more than two years of negotiating and two fact-finder reports, there is still no agreement. The next talks are this Wednesday.

Shaler Superintendent Wes Shipley is cautiously optimistic.

“I think it’s 50-50,” he said. “I think we have a good shot. Everyone wants cooler heads to prevail.”

Melissa Ravask, President of the Teachers Local says, “The teachers hope that the district comes to the union with an offer that is fair to members and that the teachers can accept.”

Other Districts in Allegheny County are in various stages of talks: Pine-Richland, East Allegheny, Deer Lakes, Duquesne, Sto-Rox, Montour, Gateway, Wilkinsburg, Elizabeth-Forward, and Bethel Park

Says, Lauren Kratsa, going into the 8th Grade,”On the 28th we’ll find out if they’re going on strike or not, but I think I’ll be kind of disappointed.”

If there is no accord, the district will notify parents on Friday about school on Tuesday.

And while Shaler’s nearly 400-member teachers union wrestles with its agreement, the Bethel Park School District has asked for fact finding.

The process takes 60 days and is non-binding.

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