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Teachers Strike Likely In South Burlington Tuesday

Teachers in South Burlington will likely strike Tuesday, a week after announcing their intent to strike if they didn’t come to an agreement with the school board.

Since the announcement, each side has publicly decried the other’s tactics in the ongoing negotiations leading up to the final public exchange this weekend.

“We are beyond frustrated that the school board has decided to waste precious time rather than work with us to keep our schools open,” said Eric Stone, the chief negotiator in the South Burlington Education Association in a press release Sunday.

The Sunday release came with the news that the teachers sent a contract offer to the board over the weekend. Whether the board finds the offer acceptable or not, a strike remains likely because the board has said they plan to meet and discuss the offer privately Wednesday and be prepared to meet on Thursday.

The board has said that it “cannot agree to meet before then because it would be a disservice to the community to proceed without all board members at such a meeting,” and Thursday is the first day all board members can be present.

The board also said Sunday that the union proposal was “disrespectful to the community” and that it had “created its ‘crisis,’ and set its own arbitrary strike deadline.”

That deadline is Tuesday, October 14. The teachers’ association announced last week that if a deal hasn’t been reached by then, there will be a strike.

The last public communication from the board showed no willingness to meet sooner than Thursday, so South Burlington students may end up without teachers in their classrooms Tuesday morning.

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