ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – Ellwood City teachers will not strike.
It was feared that teachers in two local school districts could go on strike in the coming days.
However, Ellwood City Schools tweeted late Monday night that there wouldn’t be a strike and that a tentative agreement had been reached.
Superintendent Joe Mancini released this statement:
“Focusing on the needs of the students and community the EAEA and Ellwood city area school board are pleased to announce that they have reached a tentative agreement in principle. The parties are going to collectively work on a ratification document that each side is prepared to recommend for approval. We would like to thank the educational community for being patient during these negotiations and thank the negotiating teams were their Time and effort in reaching a tentative agreement. The parties are hopeful that this agreement will allow us to return our focus solely on educating students in the Ellwood city community.”
David Braymer, chief negotiator for the teachers told KDKA’s Kym Gable, “We worked together here tonight. We’ve spent a lot of time here. And this reflects the fact that we found a way to work together.”
The 130 teachers in the Ellwood City Education Association say they would strike Tuesday if a new contract isn’t struck before then.
The last contract expired June 30.
The school board and the teachers’ union have both expressed optimism that they’d work out a deal before then, which they did late Monday.
The district has never had a labor-related school cancellation.
Although teachers picketed over a contract dispute more than 30 years ago, no classes were canceled. Teachers threatened to strike in 2006, too, but it was averted by a last-minute deal.
Meanwhile, teachers in Peters Township are threatening to strike on Oct. 28 if they don’t have a new contract by then.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the Peters Township Federation of Teachers is upset, claiming the district has canceled several recent bargaining sessions.
District spokeswoman Sherry Belcher says three recent sessions were canceled due to scheduling conflicts, but says the district isn’t avoiding negotiations. She says they’ve been meeting regularly with union officials since May.
The teachers’ last contract expired Aug. 31.
The union represents 285 teachers, plus support staff including nurses, counselors, librarians and speech therapists in the Washington County district about 15 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.
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