Addison Northeast Strike Called Off

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(Host) Teachers in Addison Northeast Supervisory Union have called off a strike planned for tomorrow.

Local boards imposed working conditions on the teachers last month after negotiations broke down. The teachers have been without a contract for eight months.

The two sides met again last week, but were not able to come to an agreement.

Teacher Heather Parkhurst says the union met last night and teachers decided to stay in the classroom under those working conditions:

(Parkhurst) "The membership met and discussed our options, and we’ve decided that right now, what we want to do is go back to the table and negotiate our contract for next year."

(Host) The two sides disagreed on health insurance contributions, and automatic pay raises.

Parkhurst says she hopes the sides can come to an agreement on next year’s contract before reaching this point again:

(Parkhurst) "One of the issues was the process in general, what we’re hoping will be different is that we have the time to negotiate, talk, discuss, and try to reach some mutual understanding on the issues. That’s where I would say some of the breakdown happened."

(Host) Parkhurst says discussions on next year’s contract will begin soon, but no date has been set.

School Board member Donald Sargent called the negotiating process "nasty" and says he’s glad the strike has been called off. Sargent hopes there can be more openness in the process going forward.

Addison Northeast includes Mount Abraham Union High School in Bristol, and five nearby elementary schools.


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