Methacton School District cancels Wednesday classes as teacher strike continues

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Methacton offers binding arbitration. Jim Gardner reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on September 19, 2017. (WPVI)

The Methacton School District has canceled a third day of classes as a teacher strike continues.

"As MEA's strike plans have not been withdrawn, the District will again cancel classes on Wed., Sept. 20.," a tweet from Methacton Schools read.

During Tuesday evening's school board meeting, the district extended an invitation to the Methacton Education Association (MEA) to join it in final-best-offer arbitration.

Teachers officially went out on strike at 7:30 a.m. Monday. They have been working without a contract since June 30th. They have been negotiating since January.

A stalemate in the bargaining process led to an announcement Friday by the Methacton Education Association that its members had authorized a strike.

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Methacton School District cancels Tuesday classes as teacher strike continues. Vernon Odom reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on September 18, 2017

The union represents over 400 teachers and professional staff. Some 5,000 students are enrolled in district schools.

The issues being negotiated include salary, benefits, class size, teacher-student ratio and team teaching.
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Methacton Schools: No deal reached; Teachers will strike. Walter Perez reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on September 17, 2017.

"Talks fell apart because the MEA refused the following medical premiums. Over the next three years, the medical premiums went from 13 percent, to 17 percent, to 17 percent in the three year deal," said School Board Chairman Chris Boardman.

"If you look at all of our average salaries, we are below the county average. If you rank us statistically, our salaries fall in the lower quadrant in the county. They are looking for us to pay for health care in the upper tier of the county," said Union President Diana Kernop.

A state mediator is now involved to coordinate the exchange of proposals between parties.

According to the school district, State Department of Education rules will prevent the work stoppage from going past 15 days.

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educationpennsylvania newsteacherstrikeeducationLower Providence Township
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