Teacher strike authorized for Saucon Valley

HELLERTOWN, Pa. (AP) - September 12, 2008

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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