West Shore School District teachers take action for a new contract

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LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa.-- Friday night was a rivalry between Red Land and Cedar Cliff on the field, but there was another rivalry brewing off the field between the teachers and the district.

"This is the third school year started with working under the terms of their previous contract, and this is just not productive," PSEA spokesperson Laurie Lebo said.

According to West Shore School District teachers it's been more than 780 days since a contract was agreed upon. Before the game, the teachers started to spread their message to parents who were on their way to the game. They passed out snacks with their message on them and asked for signatures for their petition.

"It's to get petitions to find the board to give us a fair contract," West Shore teacher Flo Carbone said.

On Septmeber 16th, teachers rejected the school boards last contract offer. According to the school district there are three main issues. They are the salary schedules, healthcare benefits, and a Cadillac tax. A Cadillac tax is where the federal government taxes benefits they believe are excessive.

"The teachers have already made a lot of sacrifices at the bargaining table, but the school district refuses to work with us," Lebo said.

FOX43 reached out to district officials, but they decline our request for an interview, but they did tell us they are continuing talks with the teachers. They will continue to honor the current contract until a new one is negotiated.

According to the teachers, both sides have met multiple times since last Friday.

"I know that the people in my building are very supportive of us, but then you have that cloud of you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow," Carbone said.

Parents showed their support for the teachers. Kim Mingus' son is a student in the district. She wants to see this problem end soon.

"I hope that they can resolve their differences," she said.

Lebo said both sides are expected to meet Monday to continue talks on a contract.

The teachers are authorized to strike. This means the bargaining team will be able to strike at any time, provided they give 48-hours notice.