Classes are canceled indefinitely in the Duquesne City School District after teachers struck today in a dispute over salaries. The dispute is over a wage re-opener not the full contract. The teachers union wants a 19% pay hike this year. The Allegheny Intermediate Unit, which is the governing body for the distressed district, has offered 3%.
Butch Santicola, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Education Association, argues that even with a 19% increase, the Duquesne teachers would still be the lowest paid in Allegheny County. But, A-I-U Solicitor Bill Andrews says that Duquesne is the only bankrupt district in the county and is 1 of the 2 poorest districts in the state. Andrews says giving a 19% salary hike will hinder achieving the goal of a viable district. The two sides are waiting for a state mediator to call them back to the bargaining table.