West Chester Teachers Rally For New Contract - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

West Chester Teachers Rally For New Contract

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WEST CHESTER, Pa. -

West Chester teachers say they have been working without a contract since June 30th and want the West Chester Area School District to pay up. 

"We happen to know that the school district (is) finding money and has the money to settle these contracts," said Debbie Fell, president of the West Chester Area Education Association. 

Several union members packed the parking lot of the district's headquarters in protest, in hopes of sending a message to board members as they arrived for a meeting.

Board Vice President Heidi Adsett told FOX29 the district does not have the extra money to give the teachers a boost in pay and benefits.  She warned a fight could force reductions in school programs.

"When they are asking for more than we can give, I don't know how to address that.  What's going to happen is you're going to have to cut programs," she said. 

District leaders say the school budget is fine for this year.  However they are worried about deficit projections up to $18 million two years from now and want to be careful about future financial agreements.

Union leaders say they have already saved the district nearly $3 million by agreeing to pay a pay freeze last year. 

Both sides will continue negotiations on October 10th.

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