Pine-Richland educators vote to authorize strike

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Pine-Richland educators voted tonight to authorize a strike, according to their union.

The Pine-Richland Educators Association will continue negotiating with the district, but the vote means they could call a strike, according to a press release.

"We are ready and willing to continue negotiations with the board, and although it is unfortunate that we have had to take this step, we are united and committed to resolving the remaining issues that are still under dispute," union president Trent Matteson said in a statement.

Those issues include a district-proposed pay freeze for senior teachers and increase in payment for health care, as well as union concerns over an early retirement incentive the district eliminated, said Fritz Fekete, a communications consultant for the union from Pennsylvania State Education Association.

The previous contract, which had a two-year extension, was in effect from July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2012, with formal negotiations for this new agreement starting in January 2012.

Mr. Fekete said the next negotiation meeting has not been scheduled.

Lexi Belculfine: or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc.

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