Bloom Supports Ending Teacher Strikes

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State Representative Stephen Bloom
199th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Abbey Fosnot
[email protected]


Bloom Supports Ending Teacher Strikes in Pennsylvania School Districts

HARRISBURG – State Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) announced his support of legislation designed to end teacher strikes at a press conference this morning.

At the press conference, Rep. Todd Rock (R-Franklin) and Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) introduced the STRIKE-FREE Education Pact that would prohibit teacher strikes and other public school lockouts in Pennsylvania at a statutory level.

"It is time to stop big-labor teachers’ unions from holding our kids and Pennsylvania taxpayers as economic hostages," said Bloom. "Teacher strikes are disruptive to the learning process and take advantage of our taxpayers."

The STRIKE-FREE Education Pact (House Bill 1369) contains several clearly defined and enforceable financial penalties, including: instituting a $5,000 individual fine, per incident for inciting a strike; striking teachers losing two days of pay, each day of an illegal strike; and the striking teachers union forfeiting its dues check-off privilege for one year.

"Under current legislation, striking teacher union members endure no economic consequences, said Bloom. "However, parents of the students are forced to pay for additional child care during a strike and property taxes are driven up as taxpayers are left to cover the bill for union-driven salary increases and negotiation fees."

The second part of the STRIKE-FREE Education Pact includes legislation to change Article 3, Section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. It currently states, "The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth."

If approved in two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly and by voter referendum, the legislation would amend the language to include the following provision:

"And shall not provide for any lawful strike or lockout of employees of public education."

Approximately 42 Pennsylvania public school districts are currently in danger of an immediate teacher strike due to expired contracts and 120 additional public school districts face the possibility of a strike before the end of the year.

Currently, 37 states prohibit teacher strikes. In the past decade, Pennsylvania has been the nationwide leader in teacher strikes. During this time, more than 247,000 Pennsylvania students have had their learning experiences disrupted and adversely impacted.

"Students get in trouble with the law if they skip school, and parents get in trouble with the law if they allow their kids to skip school," said Bloom. "Yet, our law allows for union bosses to prevent kids who want to be in school from going to school. That is why I support the STRIKE-FREE Education Pact to ban teacher strikes."