North Penn teachers hit the picket line
LANSDALE, Pa. - April 19, 2010 (WPVI) -- Teachers at one of Philadelphia's largest suburban school districts are walking the picket line.
Classes were canceled Monday in the North Penn School District as teachers went on strike around 7 a.m. with sign-carrying picketers gathered on the sidewalk in front of the high school in Lansdale.
Union officials say about 12,700 students could be out of school for up to seven days and still get the state-mandated 180 classroom days by June 30.
North Penn's teachers have been without a contract since September. A seven-hour bargaining session on Sunday ended without an agreement.
There are no new talks scheduled for Monday, however Action News has learned talks are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday evening.
"We worked really hard last night to have school today," said Christine Liberaski of the North Penn School District. "We're waiting to see what the next step is."
"We met for over seven or eight hours yesterday and we weren't able to make any progress, or enough progress to achieve a deal," said Alan Malachowski of the North Penn Education Association.
Last week, the board rejected a contract proposal offered by an arbitration panel, saying it would increase the budget by 17.3 percent. The union representing the district's 1,070 teachers overwhelmingly approved the plan.
The current salary range for North Penn teachers goes from $42,870 up to $93,948. The proposal, drawn up by a non-binding arbitration panel, is a 5 year deal that would bump that to a $49,518 minimum and a maximum salary of $104,410. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
pennsylvania, montgomery county, teacher contract, local/state
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