North Penn Teachers Strike

It seems likely North Penn teachers will be on the picket-line Monday instead of in the classrooms.   Today's Comment Please by Univest featured school board member Steve Hladik and NPEA president Alan Malachowski talking about the impasse.  It's obvious the two sides have strongly felt positions and I'm hearing little chance of a last minute agreement to avert Monday's walkout.   Both guests debated the numbers in the arbitration report approved by the teachers and rejected by the board.  But the decision to strike, in this economy, seems difficult to justify.   Whatever argument the teachers can make at the bargaining table about salaries in nearby districts is irrelevant to the reality of the broader economy and the
tax pressures within the North Penn School District.   The fellow who's been out of work for the past year and facing a property tax hike due in part to the escalating costs of teacher pensions isn't going to be real sympathetic to the plight of the North Penn teachers trying to achieve parity with Wissahickon or Methacton educators.   There are times when the argument to hike teacher salaries can be made (whether you agree is another matter), but now is not the time!   The numbers make this a difficult enough contract to settle, but there seems to be a deepening animosity which could mean this will drag into the next school year.

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