Saucon Valley teachers to strike

HELLERTOWN, Pa. - October 12, 2009 Teachers and district officials have been at odds for more than a year over salary increases and other issues.

Officials say they will review the teachers' latest offer on Tuesday night. That proposal calls for a four-year contract with annual raises of 3.9 percent.

The raises would be retroactive to September 2008, when teachers went on strike for about a week to protest the lack of a contract.

2,500 students attend schools in the district near Bethlehem.

In a letter to the district, the teachers' union said it made new contract proposal Friday and requests a vote by the school board at a meeting on Tuesday night.

The district has been without a contract for more than a year, and there was a strike there just last fall.

The district says classes will be held on Tuesday, October 13th, and students should report as scheduled. The strike takes effect Wednesday because teachers have to give 48 hours notice before hitting the picket line.

There will be no classes for Kindergarten through 12th grade, nor will there be any classes for special education students that are held in the district.

Bethlehem VO-Tech students will still have transporation from the high school to the VO-Tech school.

In addition, the district said school buildings will not be open for students, teachers, and educational assistants during the strike.

All other personnel will report on time.

Parents are told not to bring their students to the school buildings, as there will be no one there to care for them.

Parents are urged to make arrangements for their children at local daycares if necessary. The school district provided information about those sites on their website.

RELATED LINK: Saucon Valley School District website.

RELATED LINK: Saucon Valley Education Association website.

The district also says that if an agreement cannot be reached, teachers could go on strike a second time this school year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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