Teachers with the Methacton School District in Montgomery County, who walked off the job Monday on strike, will go back to work Friday, officials said.
A message posted on the district’s website Wednesday stated that the Methacton Education Association and the Board of Education have agreed to enter into nonbinding arbitration. The status of that process was not addressed in the statement, but the MEA posted on its Facebook page that the board offered the option at Tuesday’s board meeting.
After being canceled since Monday morning, classes will resume Friday. Schools had already been scheduled to be closed Thursday in observance of Rosh Hashanah.
The 403 union members, who have been bargaining since January, have been working under an expired contract since June. On the MEA’s Facebook page, the group thanked students and parents for their support during the strike, which by law could have lasted until Oct. 11.
“We chose this option to strategically move us in the right direction towards a settlement that addresses our priorities,” Diana Kernop, MEA co-president, said in the statement posted online. “I feel the School Board’s desire to enter this process long before the strike’s maximum duration gives insight into the dynamics of the Board, reflects the unity and strength of our members and the groundswell of community support MEA has received.”
Points of contention during the contract negotiations have included the cost of health insurance as well as salary increases.
The last bargaining session before the strike was on Sunday. Bargaining talks began at 2 p.m. but ended a little after 8:30 p.m., with the union announcing that it would go through with its plan to strike beginning at 7:30 a.m. Monday.