“We’re still hopeful this can be avoided,” Stu Karschner, the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) UniServ said. “But the teachers have been pushed into a corner. The Troy Area School Board rejected reasonable contract offers from us that were fair to educators, good for students, and affordable for taxpayers,” said Karschner. “They have rejected a fact finders report they requested and did so without a public meeting to discuss it. Then, we believed we had a tentative agreement that the entire board was going to vote on, only to have it rejected in a work session.”
“We have proposed a healthcare plan that will save the District hundreds of thousands of dollars and the District is dragging its feet over smaller issues. It seems they want everything, and that’s not the way negotiating works.” Karschner continued.
Bowers said that members of the Association were willing to accept a fact finder’s report with the new health care plan, wage increases averaging less than 2.5% a year, and other concessions but “the District wants even more concessions.”
According to Bowers the TAEA bargaining team will be meeting soon to set a start date for the strike. “We can’t continue to go down a path of concessionary bargaining.”
The parties do not have any bargaining meetings planned, although Karschner said “We have let them know that we are available any time they are willing to meet”.
The TAEA is a local affiliate of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, which represents approximately 183,000 future, active and retired teachers and school employees, and health care workers.