The Teachers Union Announces Strike


The PFT400 logo

Daevan Mangalmurti, Editor

This morning the PFT 400, Pittsburgh’s teachers union, released a statement notifying the city of a strike to begin on Friday, March 2nd. Read the full press release here.

The president of the union, Nina Esposito-Visgitis, simultaneously sent Superintendent Anthony Hamlet a notification declaring that, “the PFT intends to go on strike if tentative agreement is not reached on new Collective Bargaining Agreements for the Professional, Paraprofessional, and Technical-Clerical units prior to the commencement of the strike. We are providing the district with a 96-hour notice. The strike has been set for Friday, March 2, 2018.” The district has not yet released any statements in response. Additionally, the Obama administration has declined to comment on the ongoing negotiations.

A teacher at Obama, who asked not to be named, said, “The strike is not in anyone’s best interest. It’s not in the best interest of the school, it’s not in the best interest of the teachers, and it’s certainly not in the best interest of the students. All this does is that we take break that interrupts the flow of learning, and then we’re back where we were. It’s not in anybody’s best interest, so let’s hope that it does not go through. I hope that they can work it out without striking. I mean, striking is a necessary tool of labor and workers, and I’ll support it if that’s where we go because I know why they’re doing it and I think it’s important that teachers take that stand… but it’s not really in the best interest of anyone.”

While teachers are still clinging to hopes that a strike might be avoided in a last-ditch move by the school district, the union has asked its members to sign up for picketing shifts and prepare for action if the strike goes ahead as planned. Another teacher that we talked with predicted that, if a strike of substantial length does take place, spring break will not be affected, but rather extra days will simply be tacked on to the end of the year. Stay with us as we continue to cover the teachers strike and any new developments along the way.