Teachers' union and Harrisburg School District avoid one-day strike
The Harrisburg School District Board held a special meeting to vote on hiring in-house solicitor James Ellison, Monday, April 22, 2019. (Vicki Vellios Briner for PennLive)
(Harrisburg) — The teachers’ union and the Harrisburg School District have reached an agreement on a major bargaining issue.
The district is withdrawing its attempt to go around the collective bargaining process by withdrawing a request to chief recovery officer Janet Samuels to include 17 issues into the amended recovery plan.
“We are glad that we were able to avoid disrupting the end-of-the-year schedule and activities for our students,” said Jody Barksdale, a middle-school math and science teacher and HEA president. “”While this addresses one of the main issues of the strike, we still have a long way to go towards fixing the district’s chronic teacher turnover. The district needs to address these issues in order to provide our students with the stability in the classroom that they deserve.”
As a result of the move, members of the Harrisburg Educational Association will not go on strike tomorrow and withdraws the unfair labor practice charge that it filed Tuesday with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.
The state ranks the district among the bottom in academic performance across Pennsylvania.
It’s also under a state-mandated recovery plan for its finances, and the school board has struggled to reach a contract agreement with the district’s teachers’ union.