BTV School Board, Union Holding Informal Meetings as Strike Looms

BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Burlington school board and teachers’ union have been holding informal meetings as a potential strike looms, district officials say.

The teachers’ union, Burlington Education Association, voted last week to strike on September 13th if its needs weren’t met by the school board.

Union leaders argue a shrinking percentage of the district’s budget goes to student instruction.

“In these informal discussions, we are focused on reaching common ground on operational issues,” said Stephanie Seguino, school board vice-chair. “In particular, the ability to coordinate teacher time at the high school to address the achievement gap. The goal is to better support all of our students to ensure their educational success.”

In the meantime, parents must make plans for their kids if they can’t go to school, including having high school students babysit.

“My wife is going to try to work around her schedule, take a morning off so I can go to work, and I'll take a morning off so that she can be at work,” said Greg Hancock, the father of a 1st grader. “We're trying to be proactive about it and put it together before the strike happens if it happens and we hope it doesn't happen."

“We need to come to some resolution obviously this can't go on forever. A strike would be incredibly difficult for the families and the students involved,” said Gov. Phil Scott (R - Vt.).

School district communications specialist Erik Wells could not specify how many or when meetings were held.

He says the district has not sent any informational memos to parents about the looming strike.


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