Mount Pleasant Area School District teachers this week, after working for a year without a new contract, issued a strike notice after failing to reach an agreement during a 15th negotiating session.

The Mount Pleasant Area Education Association represents 143 teachers, counselors, nurses and school psychologists in the district.

With the strike notice, the union’s membership has given its leadership the authority to call for a work stoppage, although the union has said it is not planning to strike prior to the start of school on Aug. 26.

The union and school board remain split on a new contract, with district officials pushing for union members to pay a higher amount toward family health care packages that cost the district approximately $16,000 a year.

The union is seeking no changes in health care, and wants the district to meet conditions regarding class sizes, classroom supplies and policies to help attract and keep highly qualified staff.

In a post on its Facebook page, the union urged supporters to push for new school board representation in November’s general election.

“We appreciate the support that our community continues to show us and we’d like to remind you to put your signs back out as we head to the general election on Nov. 5. Make sure to get to the polls that day to elect pro-public education candidates,” the message reads.

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