Teacher strike authorized for Saucon Valley

September 12, 2008 8:37:40 AM PDT
The possibility of a teacher strike is looming in an eastern Pennsylvania district as contract talks stall.

Talks broke off Thursday night between teachers and the Saucon Valley School District in Hellertown, 50 miles north of Philadelphia.

The teachers' union has authorized a strike Monday.

The two sides differ over pay, and the amount teachers contribute for health care benefits. School board President Ralph Puerta says the district proposes a 4.7 percent salary increase each year for four years, while the teachers seek a 6.5 percent increase each year for five years. Puerta says after the fourth year the difference would be about $1 million, a gap he doesn't think negotiations will close.

Both sides say they are willing to talk, but at this point no negotiations are scheduled before Monday's deadline.

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Information from: The Express-Times, http://www.lehighvalleylive.com

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