The Ellwood Area Education Association will strike on Tuesday if no agreement is reached with the Ellwood City Area School Board by then.
The association announced its intention to strike Wednesday following a failed negotiation meeting. Contract negotiations had been ongoing since the expiration of the previous contract on June 30.
The Ellwood Area Education’s Association showed up in force at Thursday’s school board meeting. Members of the Parent-Teacher Association and Ellwood City Kitchen Cabinet also attended to show support for a compromise. Subsequently, the meeting was held in the cafeteria instead of the meeting room to accommodate the visitors.
“We’re hopeful that we can make progress tonight,” Board President Mike Neupauer said at the start of the meeting.
However, the negotiations that followed the meeting lasted until 5 a.m. with no agreement reached. Another negotiation session is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday.
In the event of a strike, today will be the last day of scheduled classes, as Monday is Columbus Day, and there will be no school on Tuesday. The duration of the strike is limited by PA Act 88 of 1992 requires teachers to work 180 days between the start of the school year and June 30.
This will be the first time school was cancelled due to a strike. Teachers threatened to strike during the 2005-2006 school year, but an agreement was reached on time.
The school board, administration, and education association declined comment on negotiation specifics. Coverage of the strike will continue as information becomes available.
According to press releases from the school district, district officials have yet to determine the strike’s impact on athletics. Parents should have alternate plans for childcare in the event that school is cancelled on Tuesday. The District will do its best to notify families and keep them abreast of the situation through the all call system, Twitter and the District website.