Residents in the Allegheny County school district Shaler Area had a strong inkling back in June that there would likely be a teacher strike if negotiations did not produce a new contract. We suggested that teachers demonstrate over the summer to show they were serious: it is doubtful that they actually did that, but today the picket lines were manned and the start of school delayed. The issues related to education, pay, benefits, whether or not Pennsylvania should allow strikes, replacement teachers, etc., etc., arise again after a relatively quiet year on the labor front and those in the district and others in southwestern Pennsylvania are going to hear a lot about it in the media.
Based on data from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association-who collects and disseminates data on strikes in the state which we used to produce our most recent report on the topic-Shaler teachers last went on strike in the 1997-98 school year for three days.
While the Shaler strike is obviously dominating the news locally, there are other strikes that are occurring in northeastern Pennsylvania to start the school year. Teachers in the Wyoming Area District and the Old Forge District have walked off the job this week.