By Nicole Brewer
NESHAMINY, Pa. (CBS) — As the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers heads into day three of its second strike this year, the union contends with more than an expired contract.
“We’re just really upset that community members are acting out against teachers,” said Tara Huber, a 15 year Neshaminy High School english teacher.
From reports of verbal and physical attacks, even a car swerving at the picket line to a Facebook death threat, teachers say this battle has gone beyond healthcare and wages.
“It’s more than just issues, you’re talking about individuals being targeted. It’s just not something I would expect from this community,” said Huber.
With salaries ranging from $42,000-$96,000, the teachers union – which has worked without a contract since 2008 – is asking for 80-percent retroactive pay, plus a one to three percent increase. With one week until graduation and classes delayed for two weeks, the district says it’s all a ploy that ultimately harms students.
“We had two days picked. We agreed upon May 31st and June 12th. Then, they call for a strike because we’re not negotiating,” said Ritchie Webb, President of the School Board.
According to a statement by the union, authorities are investigating the death threat as well as other violent attacks and one of the teachers involved has pressed charges. Meanwhile, the union says the district has withdrawn its latest proposal.