Teacher Strike Ends; What Comes Next?

Teacher Strike Ends; What Comes Next?

Teachers in the South Butler County School District returned to work today after going on strike March 15th.  The District provides K-12 education to students in five municipalities in southeast Butler County.  Based on our 2013 report on teacher strikes there were two strikes in the 1997-2013 time period covering a total of 30 days.  The contract between the District and the teachers’ association expired in 2014.

The fact-finding report under Act 88 was completed in August of 2017, and it addressed District and association issues that were in dispute, including the length of the contract, length of school day, healthcare coverage (including a switch to a health savings account in 2018 for medical expenses), and wage schedules through the life of the contract.  It should be noted that fact-finding was also undertaken in 2015 and showed there were thirteen issues in dispute from the District and thirteen from the association.  In both cases the report was accepted by the District and rejected by the association.

Now that the strike has ended (in order to get 180 days of instruction completed by mid-June as required by Act 88) the parties are proceeding to final best offer arbitration, according to a document posted by the District and by the terms of the Act in section 1123-A.  Arbitration is limited to unresolved issues and if rejected by either party there could be another strike, the District may hire substitutes, or the District could have a lockout.