Teachers urge board to resolve contract dispute

Jan. 20, 2011

Teachers from Champlain Valley Union High School gathered at Monday night’s School Board meeting to express frustration with the unresolved teacher contract negotiations.

Approximately 25 teachers stood quietly as French teacher Polly Vanderputten read a prepared statement. The CVU teachers are members of the Chittenden South Education Association, which also includes educators in the Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne and Williston school districts. Teachers have read similar statements this month during other school board meetings in Chittenden South Supervisory Union districts.

“The teachers of the Champlain Valley Union High School are here this evening to express our disappointment in the failure of the School Board in Chittenden South Supervisory Union to reach an agreement with the teachers,” Vanderputten said while reading from the statement.

Williston resident Adam Weiss, a science teacher at Essex High School, also spoke in support of the CVU teachers.

“As a parent, I’m very concerned about the morale of the teachers who’ve worked for so long without a contract,” Weiss told the board.

Negotiations between the education association and supervisory union have stretched over 15 months, with the teachers’ contract expiring in July 2010.

The CSSU negotiating team and the teacher negotiators were scheduled to meet again on Jan. 20.

— Tim Simard, Observer staff