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Rock introduces bill that would ban teacher strikes

June 07, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - State Rep. Todd A. Rock, R-Franklin, has introduced a bill that would ban teacher strikes.

A former nonunion Franklin County Career and Technology Center teacher himself, Rock said in a press conference this week that House Bill 1369 "has nothing to do with punishing or taking away any legal rights from teachers in Pennsylvania's 501 school districts."

Rock, who also served on the Waynesboro Area School Board, is collecting signatures in support of the legislation at www.reprock.com.

Pennsylvania has seen 965 teacher strikes since the Right to Strike law was enacted in 1970, Rock said.

He cited National Education Association and Pennsylvania School Boards Association statistics in saying that, in the 2005-06 school year, Pennsylvania had 13 teacher strikes. Combining figures from the other 49 states, there were just seven elsewhere, Rock said.

If passed, the bill would require that unconstitutional strikes carry fines and lost pay. The legislation also calls for more transparency in negotiations, including public town hall meetings if negotiations continue beyond a deadline.

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Rock feels the bill protects teachers by providing for mandatory negotiations and mediation as well as fact-finding.

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