• Pittsburgh teachers authorize strike

    Updated:

    PITTSBURGH - A strike has been authorized that would affect more than 25,000 students in the Pittsburgh Public School district.

    The walkout could occur as early as Tuesday.

    A negotiating session is still scheduled for Friday morning.

    "There are a number of issues. It is more than two, said Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers union President Nina Esposito-Visgitis. "We are closer than we were a few months ago."


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    When Channel 11 asked Dr. Anthony Hamlet, PPS Superintendent, the same question, he said, "If you ask me, yes I feel that way. Over the last couple of sessions, we've come close on some things."

    A strike has not been authorized in more than 40 years.

    The two sides have been negotiating for 18 months with little progress.

    "This is our last-ditch effort to get some movement," Esposito-Visgitis said. "We are going to do everything we can to avoid it."

    "We have to haul ourselves and get ourselves in this room for the entire weekend to get it done, come (to) a consensus and get it done for our teachers to avoid this strike," Hamlet said.

    With a possible strike on the horizon, Mayor Bill Peduto hopes both sides will focus on the big picture.

    “The goal has always been no strike,” Peduto said. “The necessity of avoiding goes far beyond the contract that’s being negotiated." He said the bigger issue affects "the wellness of this entire city.”

    The executive meeting is expected to last until 7 p.m. Thursday.

    The meeting will determine if the strike is authorized, putting pressure on both sides to reach a deal before Tuesday.


     

     

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