October 28, 2016

Teachers meet to learn strike legalities

Contract negotiations drag on

Dec. 16, 2010

By Tim Simard
Observer staff

Members of the Chittenden South Education Association, the teachers’ coalition for Chittenden South Supervisory Union, planned to meet Wednesday afternoon to learn the legalities of striking and to consider ways to foster community support.

A letter obtained by the Observer invited union members to hear from Donna Watts, a lawyer with the Vermont chapter of the National Education Association, about the legal details of a strike. The meeting was set to take place at Champlain Valley Union High School after press deadline.

After the presentation, CSEA members planned to gather and create a list of residents from CSSU towns who “support teachers and education,” according to the letter. Residents on the list will later receive information prepared by the CSEA about the contract status, as well as requests to contact school boards and ask them to settle a fair contract.

Lisa Bisbee, the lead negotiator for the teachers’ union, did not return phone calls prior to press deadline.

Meanwhile, the CSSU negotiating team issued a press release Tuesday detailing negotiation offers at a Dec. 1 contract meeting. The CSSU board offered teachers a total salary increase of 1.86 percent for the current school year, with individual raises allotted based on step increases. For the 2011-2012 school year, the supervisory union offered a 3 percent bump in total salary.

Teachers countered by asking for a 3.25 percent increase for both school years, according to the press release.

Both parties agreed that teachers should contribute 13 percent for health care premiums this year. But the CSSU Board asked teachers to increase the contribution to 15 percent in 2011-2012, while teachers wanted the figure to remain at 13 percent.

The CSSU Board and CSEA negotiators also struggled to agree on early retirement incentives and whether teachers should receive automatic pay increases while the contract is under negotiation.

Teachers have been working without a contract since the end of June. The next meeting between both sides is scheduled for late next month.


  1. Mary Martin says:

    I would like to explain the charges of unlawful restraint because it sounds really awful. No we didn’t hold anyone hostage. We were simply standing in front of some VT Gas/Michel’s trucks. They were in no way restrained. When the men decided to leave, they simply backed up and took off. The police have been hired by VT Gas and they sure do have a way of turning a phrase.

    Mr. Recchia refers to this action as a “last-ditch” attempt to scuttle the pipeline. Wrong again! This was far from our last attempt to bring sanity and reason to our state officials who refuse to listen or help.

    Nate Palmer and Kari Cuneo and their families are not the only land owners who have fought this immoral taking of their land. So many folks have lost that fight for lack of time and money. It’s quite intimidating to go before the Public Service Board and their team of lawyers, to sit down at a table filled with VT Gas attorneys and not have anyone to watch your back and advise you.

    When people are up against the wall, they fight back any way they can. Peaceful protests not only express our frustration but they help bring attention to what is happening to our friends and neighbors..

    So Mr. Recchia, we are not done!

Speak Your Mind