Two Walkouts in Michigan Extend School Break for More Students
Undated (AP) _ Strikes over pay raises, benefits and work rules are keeping more than 3,100 teachers off the job, affecting more than 50,000 students in five states.
And employees of Ohio’s largest teachers’ union went on strike today in a dispute over wages and other issues.
Michigan teachers in Cheboygan and Ferndale walked out Thursday, bringing to five the number of school districts in that state with strikes, affecting 15,334 students.
Other strikes idled 12,500 students in one district in Montana, 11,000 in two districts in Ohio, 7,800 in three districts in Pennsylvania and 6,800 in an Illinois district.
But in two Illinois districts, teachers ratified contracts Thursday, ending strikes and also the hopes of more summer vacation for about 13,300 students. Harlem’s 350 teachers will get raises of 7 percent, 5 percent and 6 percent the next three years. Alton’s 700 teachers agreed on raises of 4 percent, 5 percent and a reopening of the contract in the third year.
No talks were scheduled until Monday in the Quincy, Ill., district, where 350 teachers walked out.
In Ohio, talks were suspended Thursday in a strike by 180 teachers affecting 3,000 Indian Creek students, and no talks were scheduled in a walkout by 550 teachers affecting 8,000 students in Warren.
Meanwhile, about 90 employees of the 99,000-member Ohio Education Association went on strike today in a dispute over wages and other issues.
A four-day strike by 720 teachers in Great Falls, Mont., extended vacation for 12,500 students, but officials said they would open schools next week with substitutes. No negotiations have been scheduled in the dispute over salaries, career increments, insurance, transfer policy and severance pay.
The school board in Laurel, Mont., has postponed the opening of school until Tuesday, idling 104 teachers and 1,900 students. Teachers call it a lockout, but school board member Chip Lowery said the schools were shut because no contract agreement had been reached by last Tuesday.
In Pennsylvania, negotiations were to begin today in a walkout Monday by 225 teachers affecting 3,700 students in the Upper St. Clair district. In the Big Spring district, talks were scheduled for Tuesday in a strike by 192 teachers affecting 3,200 students.
Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, 57 teachers in the Union School District in Clarion County went on strike today, affecting 975 students, one day after a tentative agreement on a three-year contract was reached in the Gov. Mifflin School District in Berks County.