Teachers Officially Vote to Authorize Strike

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Sam Bisno, Editor-in-Chief

Pittsburgh Public School families may have been surprised Monday evening to hear a call from the district informing them that their teachers have voted to authorize a PFT strike.

While this does not guarantee that a strike will take place, this is an alarming next step in what has been an ongoing dispute between teachers and the school board regarding the state of the current contract, which expired in June of last year. Now, it appears that a walk-out may loom on the horizon. The voting process began around two weeks ago when a preliminary ballot was issued concerning the authorization. With the announcement today, that vote has been made official.

In all likelihood, there will be no strike this week or the following, as the union waits to see how the board will respond. If a strike were to occur, students are required to be given at least 48 hours notice, and will have to make up any time away from the classroom; this could potentially mean a shortening of spring break. By law, a strike cannot last more than three weeks.

This development comes on the heels of a speech given at Obama just this afternoon by Mayor Peduto, in which he warned of the dangers of such an escalation. For now, we just have to cross our fingers that a resolution is reached in the coming days.

The Eagle has been covering the conflict since November, when it published a thorough account of the situation, including interviews with multiple teachers as well as the president of the PFT, Nina Esposito-Visgitis. That story can be found here.