Burlington teachers call strike
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — About 400 teachers in Vermont's largest city went on strike Thursday, two weeks after the school district imposed contract terms and a day after a last-minute bargaining session with the help of a mediator failed to reach an agreement.
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.
Burlington Education Association President Fran Brock said the two sides had been making progress on economic issues they disagreed on, such as a pay increase. But she disputed an assertion by the school board that the two sides had reached an agreement and then made additional demands at the bargaining table.
Brock said the main sticking point in the negotiations is scheduling time for teachers to prepare outside the classroom and to work oneon-one with students. She said an agreement had been reached for teachers at the high school, but not at the elementary schools.
"We're the experts," Brock said at a Thursday morning news conference outside the high school where teachers were protesting.