The Burlington School Board is dismayed by the outcome of the negotiations with the Burlington Education Association.
The sides gave different versions of what stymied the one-day mediation session. Teachers pointed to scheduling, but the board said it was new salary demands.
It appears one contract issue remains, having to do with demands on teachers’ time during the workday. If that can’t be ironed out, a strike would start Thursday, the union says.
“Call us, and we’ll come back to work,” said Fran Brock, Burlington Education Association president. The union says it will call off the walkout if the school board returns to the table.
The union membership will meet Thursday to decide what to do next, including the possibility of striking.
Districts say the reduced payments mean they’ll have less money to put on the bargaining table. Gov. Phil Scott had pushed to negotiate teacher health care at the state level.
“We just don’t have the kind of money the fact-finder suggested is available — at least not without cutting programs and reducing staff,” said Mark Porter, school board chair.
The district says it’s offering a 3.75 percent pay increase over two years, versus a one-year 5.28 percent increase sought by the union. A mediator will suggest a resolution.
“I’m optimistic that the parties can reach an agreement,” said a mediator who presided over a negotiating session last week.
Declaring an impasse will allow the two sides to bring in a mediator and factfinder to help broker a new contract
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 […]
The board and the union had been at loggerheads over raises, teacher contributions to health care and reimbursement for graduate courses.
As the men and women who work in our city’s schools every day, our first and primary priority is teaching Burlington’s children. That’s why we sought a swift, one-year renewal of our contract more than a year ago.