The best negotiated settlement is one that the parties work out themselves through discussion, joint problem solving, and compromise. For most Pennsylvania school districts, this time-tested process works and has improved, as indicated by the drop in strikes over the past two decades. However, in a small percentage of contract negotiations, parties can't reach an agreement after a year or more bargaining.
Learn about collective bargaining legislation and the bargaining process in Pennsylvania on the Act 88 page of PSEA.org.
Research on Strikes
While PSEA supports efforts to develop legislation to bring closure in contract negotiations between school employers and employees, our Association opposes legislation that would discourage good faith bargaining in Pennsylvania. Recent punitive anti-strike legislation places all blame for a negotiations impasse on teachers, and attempts to punish them with no real penalty to school boards.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, there is a salary gap between teachers and other professionals for whom a bachelor's degree or more is required for entry. That salary gap is growing. No difference in benefits makes up for the gap. Anti-strike legislation would tip the balance in favor of school boards and increase the gap.
PSEA's Harris Zwerling published a paper, "Pennsylvania Teachers’ Strikes and Academic Performance," showing that teacher strikes in Pennsylvania have no negative impact on academic outcomes, measured by district level PSSA test performance, attendance and graduation rates. View the full summary.