CLARKS SUMMIT — Abington Heights Superintendent Dr. Michael Mahon announced during the district’s Dec. 6 school board meeting that seniors will be able to attend classes, taught by administrators, throughout the labor stoppage, should the Abington Heights Education Association (AHEA) strike on Jan. 2.
According to Mahon, high school principal Andrew Snyder led the charge to make the classes a reality.
“Through Mr. Snyder’s leadership and, with the cooperation of all our administrators, the students will be able to come to school and take their courses from some very talented instructors. We’ll make sure, to the very best that we can, that graduation will occur on time.
“I’ve been here 14 years and we’ve only had one prior strike. This is the first time we’d be able to actually have classes for seniors during the strike and we’re very excited about being able to do it, but we’re hoping it’s not necessary.”
Mahon added that, should there be a strike, the high school cafeteria would be open for seniors and any student or family in the district due to the fact that other cafeterias would be closed.
According to AHEA President Tim Moher, the teachers’ union made a modification to its proposal for a new contract during a meeting Oct. 23 in hopes of bringing the sides closer to a deal.
“We feel like we put a very good proposal on the table,” Moher said. “We offered a potential change to our health care, which was the provider of our pharmacy plan and that would save the district at least $300,000 – which ends up being more money than they were requesting through a premium share.”
Mahon acknowledged the district is currently examining the proposal and plans to discuss specifics during the next meeting between the two sides.
“The school district received some information on Monday and we’ve been in the process of reviewing it,” Mahon said. “We intend to offer our thoughts (to the union) during negotiations next week.”
According to board president Cathy Ann Hardaway, negotiation sessions between the AHEA and school district are scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 13 and Tuesday, Dec. 19.
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