Burlington teachers picketing in front of Burlington High School in 2017
The Vermont Labor Relations Board has ruled against Burlington teachers seeking reimbursement for pay that was docked during a four-day strike in September 2017.
The labor board found that the Burlington School Board was within its rights to decide to withhold teacher pay for days "when they did no work," according to a July 9 opinion dismissing an unfair labor charge.
The ruling noted that the employer, or school board, "made it clear both before the strike and following the strike that teachers would not receive pay for the time spent on strike."
Furthermore, the ruling pointed out, the Burlington Education Association signed a contract with no promise of reimbursement for the days.
Burlington Education Association president Andrew Styles declined to comment on the decision, as did Vermont-National Education Association director of communications Darren Allen.
Burlington Superintendent of Schools Yaw Obeng and Burlington School Board chair Clare Wool did not respond to requests for comment.
The union has been fighting for reimbursement for more than a year. It filed a grievance over the issue and lost in arbitration in March of this year. In the subsequent unfair labor charge filed with the Vermont Labor Relations Board, the union argued that the matter was still not settled.