ANESU teachers picket for new contracts
BRISTOL — Teachers who are members of the Addison Northeast Education Association union plan to stage a picket at Mount Abraham Union High School on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 18.
The “informational” picket will run from 5:45 to 7 p.m. and organizers hope it will put pressure on the school boards of the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union regarding teacher contracts.
“It’s a little different than a picket exactly,” said Heather Parkhurst, a Mount Abe teacher and ANEA member. “It’s very much a quiet demonstration. We won’t be in front of the school or anything like that, but rather, we’ll be targeting the board members and hoping that we can get a settlement tomorrow night. The board is meeting, we’re having a negotiation session.”
Addison Northeast teacher contracts expired last June.
The teachers union claims in a media alert sent out on Wednesday afternoon that the “$4,000-a-year pay cut for teachers is unacceptable.” The same alert states that the picketing teachers hope to encourage members of the various school boards in the union to scrap the current agreement and to “reach a contract that is fair to teachers, students and the communities.”
According to Parkhurst, the teachers hope to reach a settlement with the board tonight.
“Ideally we would come out with a contract that’s good for the teachers, good for the community and good for the schools,” she said. “If the board walks away from the table, hopefully we’ll get them to come back and talk to us. We’ll reserve the right to continue, but we hope we don’t have to go there.”