What to Know
- Methacton teachers walk picket lines as thousands of students miss class.
- The union teachers and school board can't reach agreement on health care contributions.
- The last Methacton strike stretched on for weeks in 1985.
After several days on the picket lines, teachers in the Methacton School District will return to work Friday after reaching an agreement with the school board and ending their strike.
The Methacton Education Association (MEA) and the School Board agreed to enter a non-binding arbitration Wednesday night. Classes will be closed Thursday in observance of a religious holiday. Classes will resume Friday as teachers return.
The negotiations between the Methacton School District’s Board of School Directors and the MEA had been ongoing since January as teachers sought a new contract. The teacher’s union said sticking points were over wages not being high enough to cover increasing health insurance premiums. Over 400 teachers and staff members in the Methacton School District went on strike Monday morning after they failed to reach an agreement Sunday night.
Classes for about 5,000 students spread across the district's seven schools were canceled Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during the strike.
During a school board meeting Tuesday night, the Board President publicly offered the non-binding arbitration option to the MEA.
“We chose this option to strategically move us in the right direction towards a settlement that addresses our priorities.” said Diana Kernop, MEA Co-President. “I feel the School Board’s desire to enter this process long before the strike’s maximum duration gives insight into the dynamics of the Board, reflects the unity and strength of our members and the groundswell of community support MEA has received.”
The last Methacton strike in 1985 lasted 25 days.