Metcalfe and Rock Cement Strike-Free Education Pact

Member Group : News Releases

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe
12th District
Rep. Todd Rock
90th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin
House Republican Public Relations
(717) 772-9979
November 17, 2009

Metcalfe and Rock Cement STRIKE-FREE Education Pact
Between Students, Parents, Taxpayers and Teachers with Introduction of Constitutional Ban

HARRISBURG – With approximately 75 Pennsylvania public school districts at risk for an immediate teacher strike due to expired contracts; and 144 additional public school districts facing the possibility of a strike before the end of 2010, Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) hosted a Capitol news conference today to unveil the STRIKE-FREE Education Amendment (House Bill 2092) to constitutionally ban teacher strikes and other public school lockouts in Pennsylvania.

"Whether their performance merits a salary increase or not, the ultimate objective of every striking teacher is to take away even more income from the taxpayers they were hired to serve," said Metcalfe, whose legislative district has been negatively impacted by three public school closing teacher strikes (Seneca Valley (1) and South Butler (2) school districts) during the past several years.

"Due to circumstances absolutely beyond their control, strike-impacted parents, grandparents and other parental guardians have no choice but to frantically scramble to find family budget-draining child care in order to keep earning their paychecks. Of course, striking teacher union members suffer no economic loss because they will be retroactively paid for the 180 days of instruction that the school district is mandated to provide. Passage of the STRIKE-FREE Education Amendment will bring down the constitutional curtain once and for all on the self-serving GREED of public school employees and their respective union bosses that has no legitimate place in the public service arena or in Pennsylvania," added Metcalfe.

Article 3, Section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution 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, House Bill 2092 would amend, expand and clarify Article 3, Section 14 with the following plain English provision:

"And shall not provide for any lawful strike or lockout of employees of public education."
Metcalfe’s STRIKE-FREE Education Amendment comprises the final portion of the legislative initiative collectively known as the STRIKR-FREE Education Pact. Sponsored by State Representative Todd Rock (R-Franklin) and recognized both statewide and nationally by the Wall Street Journal, the Strike-Free Education Act (House Bill 1369) would immediately outlaw teacher strikes and lockouts at the statutory level and includes a $5,000 individual fine, per incident for inciting a strike and teachers losing two days of pay for every illegal strike day.

"Speaking from the unique perspective of a former teacher who witnessed the aftermath of a teacher strike in the Carlisle School District, and, even more recently, the first teacher strike in my legislative district in nearly 25 years at the Tuscarora School District, I can personally attest that teacher strikes produce no winners and in the end, the biggest losers are always the students," said Rock.

Also offering support for the STRIKE-FREE Education Pact during today’s press conference were Simon Campbell, president,; Frank Scavo, school board director, Old Forge School District; Larry Pastor, chairman, Taxpayers for a Fair Neshaminy School District Budget and Matthew Brouillette, president, Commonwealth Foundation.

Currently, 37 states, including neighboring New York and New Jersey, prohibit teacher strikes. With an average of 12 teacher strikes per year and as the home to 60 percent of all America’s teacher strikes between 2000 and 2007, Pennsylvania remains the undisputed "Teacher Strike Capital" of the United States. Despite ranking fourth in the nation for the highest average teacher salaries, when adjusted for the cost of living, between 2002 and 2008 more than 186,000 Pennsylvania students have had their learning experiences interrupted and adversely impacted by unconstitutional teacher strikes.

"For far too long, far too many Pennsylvania public school students have been selfishly short-changed out of the quality education they deserve and that their parents are paying for through ever-increasing, teacher strike-driven property taxes by these militant, impossible to appease special interest groups," said Metcalfe. "Final enactment of the STRIKE-FREE Education Pact will unquestionably protect every Pennsylvania student’s, parent’s, teacher’s and taxpayer’s right to an uninterrupted STRIKE-FREE education by spelling out in plain English that teacher strikes are unconstitutional and in no way shape, or form contribute to providing for a through and efficient system of public education."

Say "YES" to the Strike-FREE Education Pact today by completing the online petition at or