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Scranton teachers hold protest before school board meeting

Teachers say they are going into their fifth year without a contract.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Teachers, staff, and parents in the Scranton School District put their anger on display outside Scranton High School an hour before Monday's school board meeting.

Inside, the Scranton Federal of Teachers, the union representing the district's teachers and support staff, showed its solidarity by wearing red T-shirts.

“I'm seeing red; the parents should be seeing red. You, the board, should be seeing red. Our students deserve better,” said Dawn Hafner, a sixth-grade teacher.

The teachers decorated the auditorium with signs that they are seeing red as they are going into their fifth year with no contract.

Rosemary Boland, the union's president, says the board wants them to give up their current health care coverage.

“They're insisting that we take something that is not insurance in place of our Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance,” said Boland. "We're willing to pay more in deductibles and copays.”

Jennifer Felter teaches elementary art.

"Right now, I'm on a schedule of seven classes a day, and they're back to back. I'm expected to be downstairs on the ground level from 8:20 to 9 am,” said Felter. “But then, at 9 o'clock, I'm expected to be up on the third level, and I'm supposed to be at two places at once.”

The teachers' union and the district are expected to have a contract negotiating meeting on Thursday, September 16, at 4 p.m.

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