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School District, Union To Hold Talks Amid Teachers' Strike

CANONSBURG (KDKA/AP) - A negotiation session is scheduled between one of western Pennsylvania's most affluent school districts and the union representing its teachers.

Nearly 300 teachers in the Peters Township School District have been on strike since Wednesday after talks broke down following more than seven hours Tuesday night.

The teachers' contract expired Aug. 31 and they voted on Sept. 16 to authorize an Oct. 28 strike if a contract could not be reached. The sides remain split over issues including salaries, class size and the length of work days.

Twenty-one days is the maximum number of days teachers can strike. Both sides said no one is budging from key issues. For the teachers, one of the major sticking points is health care .
Also, they say some teachers have been working longer days and jump around through the day to different schools. Another issue is salary. The union said while they can't discuss the current demand, initially teachers wanted a raise of $2,500 a year for five years.

A union representative tells The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the sides will come together Nov. 6 for a mediation session.

If teachers strike the full 21 days, it would mean staff and students would not return to the classroom until the day after Thanksgiving.

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