Lehigh Valley

Stroudsburg teacher strike underway

VIDEO: Stroudsburg School Strike

STROUDSBURG, Pa. - The halls at the schools in the Stroudsburg Area School District are silent and may stay that way all week as teachers there have hit the picket line in the midst of a contract dispute with the district.

Teachers with the Stroudsburg Area Education Association held signs and marched in front of an empty Stroudsburg High School on Monday, a move that didn't make district officials too pleased.

"We hope to have it resolved sooner, get everybody back sooner," said Stroudsburg Area School District Superintendent Dr. Cosmas Curry.

Salary and healthcare are the main issues, according to the union.

And they say they want the district to use some of the reserve fund for raises.

Matt Gruenloh, SAEA Representative, says, "We're taxpayers as well, and it is unfortunate that since 2012 the teachers have not seen a single raise."

However, a tax increase isn't viewed favorably by other residents in the district.

"I don't want to pay more taxes, we're overtaxed now. And at one point you've got to realize that you're lucky to have a job in the area," said one local resident.

But the school board doesn’t want to cut into its reserve fund because that is being saved for a rainy day.

"I want us to be fiscally solvent for years to come, not just for the next three,” says Dr. Curry. “So we are really looking at long term sustainability for the district."

The strike could last at least six days and each day missed will be added to the end of the year.

Both sides will meet with a mediator on Tuesday.

"We're going to get through this, I'm still optimistic. Keep working and come to some dollar agree-ment that's going to work for everybody," says Dr. Curry.

Until it’s resolved the district will call parents each night by 9 p.m. to let them know if classes are canceled. 

 


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