On average teachers will receive a $1,679 pay boost in the first year, temporarily implementing the board’s desire to move away from seniority-based increases.
Despite moving teachers to new plans with lower premiums, health care is going to be more expensive in 2019, according to the organization that insures educators.
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.
The university and the union are at odds over salaries. The administration is offering a 2 percent increase.
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 governor said he wasn’t sure of any “direct correlation” between his push for a statewide agreement on teacher health coverage and labor impasses in two major districts.
The union says it won’t start hammering out next year’s contract unless the board reopens talks on the current year. That means a strike isn’t imminent, but it’s not ruled out either.
The union membership will meet Thursday to decide what to do next, including the possibility of striking.
The local teachers union will have the option to accept the board’s terms or go on strike. Ten months of negotiations failed to yield a compromise.
“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.
The board said it offered a 4.76 percent average raise for each of the next four years. Health care is a sticking point too. The union criticized the decision “to walk away rather than keep talking.”
Local officials feel overmatched by the union’s million-dollar team of strategists. The union says it needs the help to counter the education establishment and practice a fundamental right.