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Rock to reintroduce legislation prohibiting teacher strikes in Pa.

June 06, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • State Rep. Todd Rock, R-Franklin
State Rep. Todd Rock, R-Franklin

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — State Rep. Todd Rock, R-Franklin, plans to reintroduce legislation prohibiting teacher strikes in Pennsylvania.

Rock will host a press conference Tuesday morning at the Pennsylvania Capitol regarding the “strike-free education” initiative. He has introduced the bill in two previous sessions of the legislature, where it failed.

“Momentum is building. I don’t know if it’s going to be this year or five years from now,” Rock said, saying more freshman legislators say they’ll sign on to the proposal.

In addition to banning strikes, the bill would require school boards and teachers unions that are at an impasse to meet four times a month and once every six weeks in public.

“It doesn’t change any part of the negotiations. It has all the things we currently have, like fact-finding and arbitration,” Rock said.

Rock said the bill wouldn’t necessarily mandate a settlement.

“My thinking is, just the very nature of having to meet so often, you’re going to come to an agreement,” Rock said.

Rock is a former masonry teacher who served on the Waynesboro Area School Board before being elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2006.

The Waynesboro Area School Board and its teachers union, the 271-member Waynesboro Area Education Association, have been negotiating since early 2010. Both sides have described recent sessions as unproductive.

The Waynesboro Area Education Association’s members voted months ago to authorize a strike, but have not initiated one. Wednesday is the district’s last day of school for the 2010-11 academic year.

Rock will be joined at the press conference by state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, who will be introducing a provision to make the bill, if passed, part of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

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