|“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.”
Article 3, Section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution
Currently, 37 states (including neighboring New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Maryland) prohibit teacher strikes. Additionally, Pennsylvania is only one of two states in the Northeastern United States that allows teacher strikes.
Pennsylvania remains the undisputed "Teacher Strike Capital" of the United States. According to the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, from the 1997-98 school year through the 2012-13 school year, there were 115 teacher strikes in Pennsylvania affecting more than 300,000 students.
Throughout his tenure in office, Representative Metcalfe supports ending teacher strikes in Pennsylvania through either a statutory change prohibiting strikes or a constitutional change adding the following provision to Article 3, Section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution: “And shall not provide for any lawful strike or lockout of employees of public education.”
“Militant teacher unions have no legitimate right to shut down a public school solely for bargaining purposes,” said Representative Metcalfe, whose legislative district has been negatively impacted by three public school-closing teacher strikes since he has been serving in the Legislature.
“Ultimately, teacher strikes are really the hammer that forces property taxes through the roof because taxpayers are left footing the bill for union-driven salary increases and lengthy arbitrations,” said Representative Metcalfe. “Eliminating teacher strikes is a fundamental quality of life issue that I've been working on for years and will continue to do so for the benefit of our students, parents and taxpayers.”
“Children are the future of this country and they are the most negatively impacted by teacher strikes,” said Representative Metcalfe. “I remain committed to working for policy changes that will reduce the property tax burden and reform our public education system by creating more accountability, competition and putting control back into the hands of parents and taxpayers rather than self-serving teacher unions.”