Danville Area teachers set to strike April 17
DANVILLE - The Danville Education Association announced Thursday teachers will strike beginning April 17.
The (Sunbury) Daily Item reported Friday the 190 teachers in the association were notified Thursday afternoon, after a negotiation session failed to yield any kind of results.
Teachers in the Danville Area School District have been working without a contract since the end of the 2011-12. The DEA members took a strike vote which passed in December, but it was left to the six-member negotiation committee to decide when and if a strike was needed.
According to state law, a strike cannot prevent a district from 180 days of instruction before June 15 or the last day of the scheduled school year, whichever comes first. Teachers may strike twice a year, according to the Pennsylvania State Education Association.
Board president Allen Schappert blamed inflated payments to the state's pension funds for the district's shortfall and that demands by the teachers were impossible, given the current economic conditions. He said that Danville's projected deficit this year would be $342,147, jumping to $1.02 million in the 2015-16 school year.
Dave Fortunato, union president, told the paper he felt that teachers were left with no alternative, and that teachers will continue to work leading up to the strike.
The union will hold a rally at Danville High School before the next school board meeting Tuesday.
Shamokin Area was the last area school district to go on strike, leaving students out of school from Oct. 15 to Dec. 2, 1986.