By Brenda Waters

MOUNT LEBANON (KDKA) – The countdown is on in the Keystone Oaks School District.

The teachers, nurses and counselors plan to go on strike if they don’t have a new contract by Thursday morning.

The education association and the district have been negotiating since January 2016, but there is no agreement in place.

This morning, school buses and parents dropped students off, but that could change by Thursday.

“We gave the district last night a 48-hour notice about the strike, which will begin on Thursday at 12:01 a.m.,” Keystone Oaks Education Association President Kevin Gallagher said.

The news of a possible strike has some students worried.

“It really concerns me because I really want to get my work done,” one student said.

“I definitely want to get my education. It means so much to me because I want to graduate from [Keystone Oaks],” another said.

The 158 teachers, counselors and nurses have been working without a contract since June 2016.

“We are trying to prevent a work stoppage,” Gallagher said. “Typical sticking points are salary and benefits, but in reality, it’s about getting a fair agreement.”

Gallagher, who is also a math teacher in the district, said there has been some good conversation at the table, but the two sides are still apart on some issues. He is hoping they are resolved before the strike deadline.

Robert Lostetter, a parent, hopes so, too.

“I think something should be done. They should work on some kind of an agreement. That would really stink for all the students,” he said.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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