Burlington School Board: Union won’t negotiate in public

BURLINGTON — The Burlington School Board is crying foul because it says the city’s teachers union is refusing to hold public negotiations for its upcoming contract.

“The people of Burlington want transparency,” said board Chair Mark Porter in a statement Monday. “We’ve made a concerted effort from the beginning to follow the same open negotiation process that many other school districts in Vermont have begun, but the (Burlington Education Association) has not agreed to hold contract talks in public, in response to our many requests to do so.”

The Vermont School Boards Association says nearly 60 percent of teacher contracts currently in negotiations in the state are being hammered out publicly, according to the news release from the Burlington board.

BEA President Fran Brock did not return calls seeking comment Monday.

The two sides have been negotiating a new contract since last year, when talks yielded a one-year contract that ends in August. The union and the board are hoping to reach a longer contract at a time when virtually every board and union in the state are working on new contracts that address changes in health care benefits.

In Burlington, the board said it asked the union several times between October 2016 and February at closed bargaining sessions and in writing to allow public negotiations. The union refused, according to the news release.

Morgan True

Comment Policy

VTDigger.org requires that all commenters identify themselves by their authentic first and last names. Initials, pseudonyms or screen names are not permissible.

No personal harrassment, abuse, or hate speech is permitted. Be succinct and to the point. If your comment is over 500 words, consider sending a commentary instead.

We personally review and moderate every comment that is posted here. This takes a lot of time; please consider donating to keep the conversation productive and informative.

The purpose of this policy is to encourage a civil discourse among readers who are willing to stand behind their identities and their comments. VTDigger has created a safe zone for readers who wish to engage in a thoughtful discussion on a range of subjects. We hope you join the conversation. If you have questions or concerns about our commenting platform, please review our Commenting FAQ.

Privacy policy
Thanks for reporting an error with the story, "Burlington School Board: Union won’t negotiate in public"