SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — UPDATE: The negotiations session on Thursday evening between the Scranton School District and the Scranton Federation of Teachers ended without resolution between the parties, and the SFT’s strike will continue.
Negotiations start Thursday evening, hoping to bring an end to the Scranton teachers’ strike.
The Scranton School District (SSD) will be meeting with the teachers union to talk about a new contract. The district held a press conference Thursday afternoon ahead of its negotiations with the union at 6 p.m.
Between the district and the union, there is a $13 million gap, according to the superintendent. To put it into perspective, the district would have to raise taxes by more than 20 percent to come up with what the union is asking for.
Over the past week and a half, there has been confusion over increased wages for teachers in the proposed 2022 budget. There is money set aside for salary increases for teachers, once the final budget is approved next month and it could even change if a contract agreement is reached.
“We have over 9,000 kids that are at home right now and that need to be in school. So we need to make sure that we get this thing settled. So we are going to continue. We’re committed to continuing to negotiate and coming up with a fair affordable and sustainable contract,” explained Missy McTiernan, the Superintendent of the Scranton School District.
While teachers are fighting for better wages and healthcare, the strike is causing impacts across the district.
Administrators are still coming to work making sure the district runs as it should. According to the district, the impact falls heavily on the students while the strike goes on and it goes beyond the students not being able to learn.
“I don’t want them out here. I don’t because I want to be in the school with them. I want to learn. To see them out here fighting for us and them, it really shows me that they care a lot about us and a lot about their contracts,” stated Scranton sophomore Connor Griggs.
It impacts those who play sports, college application requirements, food insecurity, daycare, and more.
“This is a difficult time if we go to that next step. So we are trying to do everything in our power to make sure that does not happen and we are committed to that,” said McTiernan.
The district is trying to come to a contract agreement. If a deal is not struck, teachers plan to continue hitting the picket line Friday.
Below you can watch the full Scranton School District meeting discussing the new contract for teachers.