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Keystone Oaks Education Association Announces Intention To Strike If New Contract Is Not Reached

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The Keystone Oaks Education Association, the teachers' union representing teachers in the Keystone Oaks School District, alerted the school board on Friday their intention to strike if a new contract agreement is not reached by February 1.

"Dr. Stropkaj, please be advised that the Keystone Oaks Education Association will commence a strike against the Keystone Oaks School District on February 1, 2021, in accordance with Acts 195 & 88 if a tentative agreement is not reached prior to that date," the one-paragraph letter read.

Keystone Oaks School District says that as of April 14, 2020, just as the pandemic began, the school board offered the union a one-year extension on the current contract that would have kept the expected salary increase intact.

The union declined the offer.

"Although circumstances have changed drastically since we began negotiating one year ago, our priority remains the same - to agree on a contract that puts students first and is fiscally responsible for taxpayers in the Keystone Oaks School District," said Theresa Lydon, President of the Board of School Directors.

"They're really taking advantage of the fact that there's a pandemic and they can use that as an excuse. It's just a lack of respect," Kevin Gallagher, president of the Keystone Oaks Education Association, told KDKA on Tuesday.

Keystone Oaks School District added that since the offer was made to the union, revenue projections for the next few school years have worsened due to the pandemic hurting local revenues.

"Hopefully, the students can understand it has nothing to do with them, it's really more about respect between the school board and the district," Gallagher said.

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