January 27, 2018

Lindsey M. Williams, Esq.
Director of Communications
Office: 412-431-5900
Cell: 412-443-0226

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers President Nina Esposito-Visgitis released the following statement regarding strike authorization vote:

The Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers has negotiated in good faith for the last year and a half. Our negotiations team has come to the table every session fully prepared to achieve an agreement that is fair for our members and moves the District forward in its mission to provide exceptional educational opportunities for all students.

This union does not take a strike authorization vote lightly. It has been more than 40 years since the PFT has gone on strike. We are committed to continue good faith negotiations and determined to reach a resolution that is in the best interests of students and our members.

The 3,000 members of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers work hard everyday to provide an excellent education to each and every student in our District. The PFT’s proposals were designed to meet the needs of our students by enhancing the learning conditions in our schools. A strong contract both protects our students and helps the District to recruit and retain the best educators. The idea that this is adults versus children is a false narrative. We are all in this together. Our schools are better when both the needs of students and educators are met.

Education in the 21st century demands differentiation and individualization to meet the needs of students. The job of educating young people cannot be done by disempowering educators and placing the District in a less competitive position. It is time to settle these contracts and do what is best for students and educators.

The PFT is in negotiations with the District for three separate contracts: Professionals, Paraprofessionals and Technical-Clerical employees. All three contracts expired on June 30, 2017. The members of all three units have been working with out a contract since that date.

The ballots are being prepared today and will be mailed to members on Monday morning. The ballots will be counted on Monday, February 12th at 4:30 pm.