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LIU teachers, staff plan to strike today

June 05, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Lincoln Intermediate Unit Education Association has said it will launch a strike today, prompting the LIU's interim executive director to direct students in all programs run by the intermediate unit to not report to assigned classes.

The teachers, psychologists, therapists and employees who work with special needs students in Franklin, Adams and York counties have been without a contract for nearly a full year as the education association and LIU board of directors stalled in negotiations.

No further negotiating sessions have been scheduled, Holly Musselman, president of the education association, said Sunday night.

The education association will strike indefinitely at the LIU office in New Oxford, Pa., and the 629 employees it represents have been told not to report for work at locations including the Franklin Learning Center in Chambersburg, she said.

The LIU serves 25 school districts, the York County Area Vocational Technical School and the Franklin County Career and Technology Center, according to its Web site.

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The education association originally planned to actively strike at the Franklin Learning Center. However, there was concern about the lack of sidewalks leaving strikers in close proximity with the road, Musselman said.

"There were some safety concerns in Franklin County and York County," she said.

The bargaining unit was notified by phone and e-mail chains, Musselman said.

"I'm hoping that this board realizes the strike was not called by the negotiating team. It was called by the membership," Musselman said.

In a letter posted on the LIU Web site, Herb Phelps, interim executive director, calls for the start of the existing work stoppage policy. The LIU buses will not be running, he said.

Negotiations, which used a fact finder from the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, failed to resolve concerns about salaries and health insurance, Musselman said.

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