ANeSU officials to consider next steps on teacher pact
BRISTOL — On Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m., the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union (ANeSU) Board’s Negotiation Committee will meet to discuss the board’s next steps in the teacher contract negotiations process.
At a Dec. 16 meeting, negotiators representing both the boards and teachers from the Addison Northeast Education Association reached an impasse, leaving school board members to decide whether they should impose a contract on the teachers.
Representatives from each of the six ANeSU boards will meet on Wednesday to choose whether they will force a contract that teachers have so far refused to accept due to a number of issues — the three major concerns being automatic salary increases, teacher salaries and health insurance contributions.
This meeting comes after a long series of negotiation meetings that began when last year’s contract expired on July 1, and came to an end on Dec. 16 when lead negotiator and Mount Abe School Board Chairman Lanny Smith said that the boards had made their “final offer.”
According to Heather Parkhurst, lead negotiator for the teachers’ union, the impasse came as an unwelcome surprise. Should the boards choose to impose the contract, Parkhurst said that teachers would have some decisions of their own to make.
“Unfortunately, if they walk away they are pushing us toward very few options — we could either work under the imposed contract, or choose to take job action,” Parkhurst said on Dec. 20, referring to the possibility of a teacher strike.
Following an executive session starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, the Addison Northeast negotiators will present their committee recommendation and open the floor to public comment.