Teachers and a midstate school district at a stalemate over contract

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Oct 31, 2016 4:39 AM

Photo by Tim Lambert/WITF

(Harrisburg) -- A midstate district and its teachers union haven't been able to reach a contract agreement for nearly 800 days.

Both sides in the West Shore School District met recently to negotiate a deal, but it doesn't appear one is close.

The union representing West Shore teachers rejected the district's "best and final offer" in September.

They've also authorized a strike, but haven't set a deadline.

Lauri Lebo with the Pennsylvania State Education Association says the talks have been disheartening.

"I gotta tell you, I keep coming back to, this is just not productive. The teachers are meeting, they're trying to work with the school board, and they're not getting anywhere," says Lebo.

The district says its final contract offer is better than other districts in the area.

It includes annual raises, and lower insurance premiums.

But the union argues the structure of the contract could make it harder for teachers to boost their pay as they gain experience.

"There has not been much in the way of progress after that," says Lebo.

The union also authorized a strike, but hasn't set a date.

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