SCRANTON (WOLF) — As Day 5 of the Scranton teachers strike began, Pennsylvania's Lieutenant Governor, John Fetterman, came to the Electric City in support of the teachers.
Fetterman said multiple times it's time for the teachers to get a new contract, after working under their old one for the last five years.
"You just want what you deserve, what's fair and what's equitable," Fetterman told the teachers outside the administration building.
"It's an abomination," Fetterman said.
Both sides are pointing fingers. The Scranton Federation of Teachers says the school district won't negotiate fairly, while the district is saying the same about the union.
"The SFT has once again chosen to continue their strike rather than join in meaningful discussions," the school district said last Thursday night.
According to a statement released by the Scranton School District, The District’s “last best and fairest” offer would have given every teacher a salary increase of between $9,000 and $28,000, with further step increases over the term of the contract with proposed new health care plan options.
The healthcare options would allow members to choose between the reference-based Performance Health plan or a Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield plan previously proposed and the district would also make a $2000 contribution to members, which could be used to offset the Highmark deductible or medical expenses.
The district says the was immediately rejected by the SFT and no counteroffer was made, except a suggestion that the district amend the 2022 budget to include a maximum tax increase to fund their retroactive pay.
While teachers are on strike and in accordance with the law, they will not have health coverage but the Scranton School District pledged that all staff members will be made whole for any healthcare costs incurred during the period of the strike.