BURLINGTON, Vt. — A teachers’ strike that spanned four days has ended with the announcement of a tentative contract agreement between the school board and the teachers’ union.
The Burlington School Board said late Tuesday it had reached the tentative agreement with the Burlington Education Association after an eight-hour mediation session. The agreement needs to be ratified by both sides.
Classes, after-school programs and other programs are set to resume at schools and other sites in Burlington, the state’s biggest city, on Wednesday, the board said.
“I’m pleased to inform the Burlington community that we have reached a tentative agreement with the BEA,” Board Chair Mark Porter said in a statement. “The Board and the District have a tremendous amount of respect for our teachers, students, taxpayers and our community — which is reflected in this contract. We are glad we can move forward as a community and get back to what matters most — educating our youth.”
Technical school teacher Bob Church echoed those sentiments regarding the students.
“I do believe we share a commitment to move forward and to create the schools that best serve our kids,” Church, a union negotiator, told the Burlington Free Press.
Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed. The mediator told both sides to keep quiet about specifics of the agreement until after ratification.
The teachers had said the issue was scheduling time for them to prepare outside the classroom and to work one on one with students. The school board had said teachers made unexpected demands at the last minute.
The school board had imposed working conditions on teachers on Sept. 1.
The 400 teachers went on strike last Thursday. That day, teachers picketed outside Burlington’s six elementary schools, two middle schools and the high school, while about 4,000 students had an unexpected day off early in the school year.
While classes were canceled, the district did make it possible for the high school’s varsity sports to play Friday and Saturday as originally scheduled.