Preparations under way as strike looms
WiWh WhH sWorP oI D liNHly Wissahickon Education Alliance (Support) union strike looming, it appears the strike will go on as scheduled as both sides have made little progress with negotiations. PrHSDrDWions DrH DlrHDdy undHr wDy Ey WhH WissDhicNon School District and local police departments to see that the impact on the coPPuniWy will EH Ds SDinlHss Dnd Jo Ds sPooWhly Ds SossiElH.
fn a letter to parents, Superintendent Judith Clark said while she remains optimistic that an agreement will still be reached, the district is prepared for a possible strike.
fn the event of a strike, Clark said administrators and other nonEDrJDininJ uniWs will EH dHSloyHd to provide assistance to students.
Bus transportation will not be provided and no after-school buses will be available either. Schools will EH oSHn IroP 6:30 D.P. Wo 6 p.m. in order for parents to pick up and drop off students going to and from work. Clark said administrators and other adults will provide supervision during the extended hours for students. ff SDrHnWs cDn dHPonsWrDWH WhDW WhHy cannot provide transportation for WhHir sWudHnWs, WhHy PDy EH Hxcused from school.
ClDrN sDid D 24-hour hoWlinH would be in place during the strike to provide updates and inIorPDWion. ThH hoWlinH nuPEHr is 215-619-8055. ,nIorPDWion cDn Dlso EH oEWDinHd Ey cDllinJ individual school phones starting at 6:30 D.P. or WhrouJh WhH disWricW’s website at www.wsdweb.org.
TwHnWy-Iour-hour sHcuriWy would also be provided at all district properties during the strike, she said.
Clark called on parents and volunteers to offer their help to schools. ThosH willinJ Wo volunteer are asked to call the district SHrsonnHl oIficH DW 215-619-8000 HxW. 3020, HPDil WhH SHrsonnHl oIficH DW crossi@wsdwHE.orJ or email individual school principals.
ShH DddHd sSHcific quHsWions regarding special education can EH DnswHrHd Ey cDllinJ Assistant Superintendent Christopher MDrchHsH DW 215-619-8000 HxW. 3010 or Ey HPDilinJ hiP DW cPDrchese@wsdweb.org.
)or WhH SolicH, WrDIfic concHrns will be the biggest issue if the strike begins.
LowHr GwynHdd TownshiS SolicH ChiHI -ohn Scholly sDid WhH disWricW noWifiHd WhH dHSDrWPHnW oI WhH sWriNH MondDy. HH sDid iW’s D WrDIfic issuH WhDW will EH DddrHssHd.
Scholly sDid WhH SolicH dHSDrWment would be bringing in extra oIficHrs Ior ovHrWiPH Wo hHlS ouW should the strike take place.
“We just have to see how the firsW couSlH dDys Jo,” hH sDid. “Most of the parents do not have a lot of patience, so it’s going to be somewhat of a nightmare to kind oI JHW HvHryWhinJ squDrHd DwDy Ior WhH firsW couSlH oI dDys. ThHn wH’ll hDvH D SrHWWy Jood idHD oI what’s happening.”
ee said the easiest method will SroEDEly EH Ior SDrHnWs Wo droS oII students at the curb line in front of WhH school insWHDd oI WryinJ Wo PD- neuver between picketers walking Dcross WhH drivHwDy, EuW would DdMusW iI nHcHssDry.
Scholly sDid hH would EH in contact with the union representative throughout the strike and hH’s DlrHDdy PHW wiWh WhH school district. ee mentioned he has attempted to meet with the union’s chief negotiator.
WhiWSDin TownshiS SolicH Chief Mark Smith said that given WhH WhrHH HlHPHnWDry schools in WhH WownshiS, WrDIfic will EH WhH biggest problem.
ee said since school buses will be shut down, it will force parents to drive their students to school, blocking Skippack Pike for miles. ee said as tensions run high from SDrHnWs duH Wo WhH WrDIfic Dnd WhH picketers, the police will be there to keep the peace.
Attempts to reach Ambler BorouJh SolicH ChiHI WilliDP )olHy were unsuccessful as of press time.
As far as the strike goes, Scholly sHHPs Wo rHPDin oSWiPisWic.
“ft shouldn’t be too bad,” he said. “f’ve seen worse.”