Education, Features, Labor News Briefs, National

Vermont Teachers Strike Over Layoffs, Pay, Prep Time

September 22, 2017

By Steve Wishnia

Burlington, Vt.—Teachers in Burlington, Vt. went on strike Sept. 14 after a nine-hour negotiating session with the city school board failed to produce a contract agreement. Burlington Education Association President Fran Brock said Sept. 15 that the strike was provoked by the cumulative effect of reductions in school staff and programs. “We have to stop it,” she told the Burlington Free Press. “This problem has been building for a number of years.” The talks have been in mediation, but the school board indicated that it had no immediate plans to resume them. It is offering teachers an 8% raise over three years, while the union wants about 6.2% over two years. Another issue is giving teachers more time to prepare lessons, elementary-school librarian Cara Clopton told a parents’ rally Sept. 17. “Every morning, we roll up our sleeves, we do our duty, we connect personally with every single child, and we determine how to give them what they need,” she said. “We do it because it’s what we love. We want to be with your children.” Read more

September 22, 2017

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