The Burlington Education Association and the Burlington School Board today exchanged initial contract proposals. The two negotiating teams will study the other’s proposal and will meet again within the next few weeks when the BEA hopes agreement can be reached on issues that directly affect the quality of education that Burlington citizens expect and deserve for the city’s children.
The BEA has proposed salary increases to help Burlington achieve regional competitiveness after several years of deferred investment to attract and retain the best faculty for Burlington’s children. The proposal sets out a reasonable and shared contribution for a healthcare plan. The teachers’ proposal also includes new language for elementary schools that would insure consistent, equitable distribution of resources according to student needs and best teaching practices. It is important to teachers that the city’s six elementary schools have staffing and scheduling that provide quality and equitable education for the city’s youngest students.
“The teachers’ proposal reflects that which is of highest priority to teachers, attracting and retaining the best teaching staff so our city’s school children get a rigorous, quality education that prepares all of our students for career or college,” said Fran Brock, president of the teachers’ association. “Burlington taxpayers have long been generous with their financial support of the schools,” said Brock, “and our proposal can be funded with appropriate distribution of district funds.”
The current contract states that if no agreement is reached by February 15, 2017, the negotiation teams may declare impasse. The teams currently are planning to meet multiple times between now and February 15. Brock said she hopes efforts to settle the contract will be more civil and constructive in order to avoid the discord experienced with the 2016-17 contract negotiations.