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Tentative Agreement Reached In Shaler Teacher Strike

SHALER (KDKA) – A tentative settlement has been reached for by teachers and administrators in the Shaler Area School District.

Both sides agreed to the deal sometime Tuesday night.

The teachers approved it Wednesday morning, and the board is voting on the deal to formally approve to tonight.

Teachers will be back in the classroom on Thursday, and students will return on Friday.

No one is more pleased with the deal than the superintendent.

"Educators in general put children first. I think that's how they were feeling," said Superintendent Dr. Wes Shipley. "They were doing what they needed to do, part of their rights under Act 88, but I think individually they wanted to be with the kids for sure."

The teachers went on strike eight days ago in a district with nearly 4,700 students.

The primary strike issues include health care costs and salaries.

First, the health care costs.

Shipley: "By the end of the contract they will pay a substantial increase."

KDKA's Marty Griffin: "How much?"

Shipley: "One hundred-fifty percent of what they're currently paying."

They could not agree on salary.

"We are going to binding arbitration. It's a bit unorthodox, but we wanted to do it to get the kids back to school," said Shipley.

Both sides have agreed to a 60-day period to discuss salary. If they don't agree, an arbitrator will decide a salary both sides have to agree to for five years.

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