timberland earthkeepers barentsburg Abington Heights Teachers on Strike
CLARKS SUMMIT Teachers in one of the largest school districts in our area hit the picket lines Tuesday morning. There is no school in the Abington Heights School District.
We found teachers picketing outside South Abington Elementary School in the Clarks Summit area Tuesday.
We found families making the best of it at South Abington Park near Clarks Summit, but they were the first to admit that a strike can be challenging for moms, dads, and students.
“I have a son that has special needs, so it’s been a little bit tricky because he has autism and we just got into the schedule of getting into school and now we’re going to have to stop and get back into the schedule again. Transitions are hard for autistic kids so it makes it a little bit trickier for him,” Sarah Sespico said.
Teachers picketed at three district buildings for a few hours in the morning before meeting in the afternoon.
Union President Tim Moher says the teachers and the administration are most at odds over paying health care premiums.
“What the school board has been proposing to us is increases to our health care costs but no salary increase. And that’s a net loss for my members and it’s just not something I can ask them to do,” Moher said.
Abington Heights Superintendent Michael Mahon says the administration is asking teachers to pay $80 a month toward health care coverage. They do not pay a monthly premium now.
The district had a $1 million deficit last year.
“The reality is that costs keep escalating, pension costs, employee costs, and a big part of the employee cost is medical benefits. So, yes, it is time for Abington Heights as a public school district to get up to date and start doing what everybody in our community has been doing for many, many years,” said Mahon.
Both sides told us they are willing to negotiate at any time but the only scheduled meeting is for September 21.
Teachers at Abington Heights could potentially strike through most of this month.
Abington Heights SD will be closed Sept. 12 as a result of the teacher union strike. The union has not disclosed the length of the strike. The Union is now stating on their facebook page that they are spending their afternoons doing community service. Curious, which is it? Is it worth having the students shuffled and families which represent your community paying daycare, babysitting, taking time off, putting jobs at risk to juggle children we expected to be in school? Sometimes you need to take a step backwards to move forward. Look at the BIG picture. Is less than $6 a week really worth it to ALL the teachers?
The kids are suffering at the price of $80/month. How do you explain to little ones and even the older children that just started that we are stopping over at the end of the day is $300 after the salary increase or $5.77 a week? These babies are so young, how do you tell a 5/6 year old why school is out and we do not know for how long? They don understand and they think they did something wrong. The commentary from parents at the bus stops and activities about children being scolded for talking about the strike in schools or being ignored when questions asked, coming off buses wondering if they did or did not have school. Some kids being bombarded with work, to compensate the workload how is this the AH way? Parents who want to advocate for their children, but have seen what has happened in the past so bite their tongues so their child does not feel the impact for their AH career. So saddened to hear and see this, this is not who or what AH is.
In today society, companies are changing insurance, pensions, 401k to name a few annually and the middle class is losing annually but they do not have the luxury to walk off the job and at the same time impact 2000 plus children and how many families, and some struggling families, we all have to continue on. We believe that the majority have the best interest of the children, while the minority have their best interest in play. They have a great thing, we all get it, but there needs to be a point where reality sets in and you realize you have to catch up with what is happening around you.
AH is the best there is no doubt, but why are not all the teachers living in the district sending their kids to AH Because they do not want to disrupt them but it is ok to disrupt our children? Can someone explain that, do you not have faith in your colleagues, after all they REALLY are the best we all agree with that!
Back to School Carnival teachers are usually seldom present and if so in small numbers, yet this year the largest teacher population is present and wearing their strike shirts, what kind of message is that to the children and community.
Graduation well at least they showed up this time nothing like those empty chairs and the people you hold in the highest regard NOT SHOWING UP. The impact to the 2018 senior class this year, APPALLING!! Yet, teachers will cross the line to coach sports, but not help your seniors or your learning support students?
How in good conscience with that all being said, are the children displaced and for some students that impact is greater than for others Is there something the community, the tax payers, the parents, the students, the board missing it is really worth impacting 2000 plus kids for $5.77/week both the Board and the Union need to get back to the tables, and not in 9 days, suck it up mend fences, and sit in a room every day if you must to get this settled to show the community you are united, your AH proud, do it for the students.
In an evolving world, where everyone pays for health insurance why should not the teachers. The conclusion is Its not about the kids and their education its about the teachers and their bottom line. I understand that they put a lot of work into what they do and appreciate what they do for our children and community, but something has to give. It 2017. Unions were around for good reasons decades ago. It not the same anymore.
There is always cyber school. I hear they have a great curriculum. cyber school I just really offended to see where my school tax dollars are going. Maybe an idea is for parents to get together and rally parents against teacher strikes . Maybe this would get some attention. Whose going to pay for my child daycare because teachers are deciding that paying a premium for their health insurance is unnecessary so they decide to strike and not having my child in school. I pay taxes to have my kids in school, not to have them not in school then pay child care on top of it.
One last comment is that if parents keep their children out of school, they are terrible parents and get reported to the district with the possibility of being reported to social services, but our teachers can strike and not have our children best interests in hand and not have repercussions.
It would be nice if all us taxpayers who have had our health insurance desimated form a picket line against the teachers! Why should they be isolated from the higher premiums, deductibles and co payments that the private sector has had forced onto them for years. The magic property tax purse has to close! Why should they get benefits that are long gone from the people asked to pay the bill to maintain the teachers benefits? We need to fight back before we can no longer afford our homes. Suck it up like the rest of us have bern doing for years!
Who the heck do you people think you are?
Why should they be on Unemployment?? Because they want a raise? Your the kind of person that ruining the middle class. They take your kids and teach them the things you can or remember can remember. They have at least 4 years of college to re pay frankly if those kids are anything like I was in school the teachers disserve more than they are probably asking for putting up with some of the monsters you call children next time you want to open your mouth with a stupid comment they should be on Unemployment think about what coming out of your mouth because when your on strike you don get any pay or any Unemployment thank a union member next time your stuffing your face on labor day next year or enjoying a weekend