Cranberry Teachers Deliver Strike Notice

| May 14, 2018

SENECA, Pa. (EYT) – After a nearly unanimous vote on Thursday, the Cranberry Education Association, which represents 96 teachers, nurses, counselors, and education professionals employed by the Cranberry Area School District, delivered a strike notice to the school board on Friday.

The notice states that unless there is a resolution to the current negotiations by May 23, 2018, the members of the Association will be on strike.

According to statements issued by the Cranberry Education Association and posted to the Cranberry Teachers Care Facebook page, the most recent contract negotiations broke down Tuesday night due to what they are calling “the strong arm stance of the Board’s negotiations team.”

“What we heard at the membership meeting was a refusal to accept what our members feel is a lack of respect from the school board,” said CEA President Matt Stevens.

“Our team has worked hard to find a resolution, but the Board’s actions represent an ultimatum saying it’s their way or else. That didn’t sit well with our members at all.”

According to the CEA release, the Board’s negotiations team has refused to make a move on wage increases despite concessions from teachers on healthcare and other issues. Other issues include a declaration that the Board would not negotiate over the summer and a “perceived threat” that retroactivity could be withdrawn if an agreement isn’t reached by May 30.

The CEA says the action was as much about where negotiations would be in three months as where talks are now.

“I think people looked at the situation and concluded that the Board isn’t willing to work with us now, won’t meet over the summer, and won’t agree to retroactivity if we don’t settle on their current terms, then we can either stand up now or stand up in the fall;” said CEA negotiations chair Brad Earp.

“And, they chose to stand up now so the Board knows we won’t be bullied.”

The Association says they remain willing to negotiate as often as needed to resolve the contract issue.

“Everyone realizes that this is a serious decision and we still hope that the parties can find a resolution,” said Stevens.

“But, everything the Board is saying points to a take it or leave it mentality that is unacceptable to us. If that’s their position, then we’ll be on strike now and possibly this fall. If they want to work to find a resolution, we’re open to that.”

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