Despite Mediation, No Deal on Contract for Burlington Teachers | Off Message

Despite Mediation, No Deal on Contract for Burlington Teachers


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Burlington teachers trimmed their raise request but need to whittle it down further, Burlington School Board leaders said in a press release issued after a failed mediation session Wednesday.

Teachers reduced their raise proposal from 5.3 percent to 4.6 percent. The board offered 2 percent and said the city can’t afford more without laying off teachers.

The Burlington Education Association’s offer “remains unaffordable and would require additional cuts to teaching staff and other important services,” said a statement that the board released.

Board chair Mark Porter said in the statement that he wants to return to the table. “The board remains confident that we can reach an agreement that broadens student learning, keeps teacher pay competitive, and is fiscally sustainable for our community,” he said.

Fran Brock, president of the Burlington Education Association and a teacher at Burlington High School, declined to comment Wednesday. 

“Today’s session with the mediator was based on the fact-finder report and we are under obligation to stay quiet about that report for 10 days,” Brock said. “I’m going to uphold the process of collective bargaining and honor the 10-day silence.” 

Brock added: “I will say that I’m disappointed that the board was so quick with this press release ... We should be honoring the process.” 

The two sides have been in protracted negotiations to renew a contract that expires August 31. The contract includes a clause to extend salaries and benefits beyond that date, however.