Burlington Teachers Formally Reject Imposed Working Conditions

As the union’s members decide next steps, the Burlington Education Association urges the board to drop imposition and return to the table and settle

BURLINGTON – The men and women who teach Burlington’s children today unanimously voted to reject last week’s imposition of working conditions, saying the board’s action will cause nothing but disruption.

“By imposing working conditions on the Burlington Education Association, the Burlington School Board signaled it would rather fight with teachers than reach a settlement,” said Fran Brock, a Burlington High School history teacher who serves as the union’s president. “There is only one way to come back from the brink, and that is for the board to rescind the imposition and reach an agreement with us.”

At the time the board voted 10-1 (with one abstention) to slam the door on continued negotiations, the teachers had offered to accept all of the recommendations made by a neutral fact-finder (you can read his report here). Board members said they didn’t want to impose – some even cried in explaining their votes – but they did so anyway. Mark Porter, the board chairman, pointed his finger at the room packed full of teachers and parents and said his vote to impose should not be taken as a slight at teachers, but at “the union.”

“I have – we have – a message for Mr. Porter and others on the board who think they can separate our union from our members: we are all the BEA,” Brock said. “It’s a classic move by people who want to break unions, but we won’t be swayed.”

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