NEW EAGLE, Pa. - Teachers in the Ringgold School District announced Friday they will go on strike next week.
Officials with the Ringgold Education Association said its 200 members will begin a work stoppage on Wednesday.
Teachers have been working without a contract since July 1.
The teachers union and Ringgold School District have been negotiating over the past 14 months and have not reached an agreement.
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The teachers don't want students to suffer, but they are tired of working without a contract.
"We're proud of our test scores. We're proud of our AP (Advanced Placement) scores and proud of our students. The last thing we want to do is lose instructional time," said Maria Degnan, president of the Ringgold Education Association.
"Our teachers are still giving every bit of themselves and every effort to their kids but unfortunately a lot of them have to leave and work second jobs, so it puts a strain on them physically and emotionally," Degnan said.
She added the sticking point is teachers' salary, and she claimed Ringgold is the lowest paid district in its region.
Channel 11 contacted the district. The school board president, William Stein, said the board is hopeful an agreement can be reached, and it would like to see students and teachers back in the classrooms as soon as possible if the strike happens on Wednesday.
"We are extremely disappointed by the REA's decision to go on strike. The board remains committed to arriving at a contract that is both fair to our teachers and the taxpayers of the Ringgold School District," Stein said.
"At this point, the association doesn't see any other option," Degnan said.
Teachers also agreed to submit the dispute to an impartial state fact-finder. They unanimously rejected the recommendations twice.
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