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Scranton Federation of Teachers Announces Tentative Agreement

For Immediate Release
Nov. 19, 2021

Rosemary Boland

Janet Bass

SCRANTON, Pa.—The Scranton Federation of Teachers announced today that it has reached a tentative contract agreement with the Scranton School District.

Terms of the tentative agreement will not be announced until the SFT’s more than 800 members have reviewed and voted on it, which will be on Tuesday, Nov. 23. The union went on strike on Nov. 3. With the tentative agreement in place, schools will reopen Monday. SFT members have been working without a contract for five years.

“I am thrilled that we have reached an agreement after nearly three tough weeks at the table and on the picket lines. We worked hard to make sure that we did right by every student as well as their educators,” said SFT President Rosemary Boland. “We said throughout the strike that we can’t cut our way to recovery and leave educators and students worse off. We now have to reverse course and invest more in our schools so we can give our kids the opportunity to have a quality foundation for the rest of their lives.” 

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten noted that the struggle to give students a great education while state and local school leaders were forcing deep budget cuts took place in President Biden’s hometown.

“Committing to, not abandoning, working-class towns and cities like Scranton is at the core of this five-year battle in Scranton, including the 12-day strike. The strike highlighted Scranton’s fight against brutal education budget cuts and for the dignity of educators, students and community. The settlement comes during the same week of real progress on President Biden’s infrastructure and Build Back Better initiatives, which will help communities like Scranton immensely,” Weingarten said. “While this settlement is important, it’s only a first step. Parents and educators agreed that everyone must work and fight together for the resources so every Scranton public school is a place where parents want to send their children, where teachers and paraprofessionals want to work, and where students thrive with a well-rounded program.”

AFT Pennsylvania President Arthur Steinberg also lauded the settlement.

“Our work today is not over. We will continue the fight for fair funding for students and schools in Pennsylvania so that every district can invest in safe and healthy school buildings and programs that children need, like pre-K, libraries, music, art and other courses and programs that were eliminated in Scranton,” Steinberg said.

Boland said she was grateful for the outpouring of public support.

“I want to thank the community and parents for the incredible support they gave Scranton teachers and paraprofessionals and the union. It inspired us to stay true to what we were fighting for. We are anxious to get back to our classrooms and pick right back up and do what we love to do,” Boland said.

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