SCRANTON -- For the first time in seventeen years, teachers in the Scranton school district are on strike. It began at 3:30 p.m. Friday. Later in the evening, Scranton High took on Scranton Prep in football.
The game went on despite the strike as the Scranton Knights took on the Scranton Prep Cavaliers, but it will be the last sporting event until the strike is over.
There will be no extracurricular activities either.
The Scranton Federation of Teachers handed out flyers before the game began. This is the first strike in the district since 1998. Teachers say they're striking because of issues such as salary, class size, and healthcare.
"We have made huge concessions in healthcare. We are the only school district in northeast Pennsylvania actually paying toward premium, so this is very hurtful that we have to keep giving and giving and giving," said Scranton Federation of Teachers President Rosemary Boland.
Union members say this strike could last up to three weeks. Scranton students we spoke with aren't happy about that.
"I think the teachers have a reason to be striking and stuff, I just wish it wasn't like messing up our year because we didn't do anything wrong," said Scranton High School senior Olivia Glogowski.
"We deserve to graduate on time and not on June 30. I think they should have come up with an agreement a lot sooner. I think they had all summer to do it," senior Meghan Padden said.
Parents say this strike could be a real hardship for them, too.
"A lot of people are going to suffer next week if they can't get their kids to school or get babysitters and stuff like that. It's going to be a tough thing. I think they should get together and get it over with," said Patrick McCormack.
Scranton teachers say they just made a counter-offer to the school district. They are waiting to hear back and are hopeful they will continue negotiations this weekend.