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Contract Talks Resume As Teacher Strike Looms In Methacton

(A classroom at Eagleville Elementary School)

(A classroom at Eagleville Elementary School)

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NORRISTOWN, PA.  (CBS) -- Contract talks were set to resume at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Methacton School District where teachers threatened a strike for Friday.

State mediator John Cairns has summoned both the teachers and district negotiators to the table in an effort to resolve the more than year-old contract impasse.

A district spokeswoman said if talks fail to produce a settlement by late Thursday night and teachers carry out their plan to hit the picket line Friday morning, classes would be canceled for some 5,300 students.

She said a decision was expected to be announced Thursday night on the status of classes.

In the meantime, Methacton Superintendent Dr. Thomas Quinn remains optimistic:

“My hope is is that all parties will come to the table, consider our students, consider our community, and make enough progress that we’ll see everybody back in school on Friday.”

Over the summer, negotiators from the Methacton Education Association — representing the district’s 440 teachers — requested that a factfinder examine contract proposals.

Last month, the board accepted the non-binding recommendations of the factfinder, but the teachers rejected them.

Wages, benefits, and the length of the school year are the main issues of contention in the talks.

Reported by KYW’s Mark Abrams.

Photo provided