South Burlington Teachers Vote to Ratify Two-Year Contract Agreement

School board will meet Oct. 6 to ratify

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - In the early morning hours Wednesday, the South Burlington School Board and Educators' Association came to a tentative agreement on teacher contracts.

South Burlington School District avoided ending up on the picket line, just two weeks after the Burlington School District wrapped up a four-day strike.

Following the tentative agreement, teachers voted Wednesday afternoon to ratify their two-year contract agreement.

"I don't think either side has come away jubilant, but that possibly is the hallmark of a good compromise," said Noah Everitt, SBEA spokesman.

Terms will be made public when the board ratifies; school board chair Elizabeth Fitzgerald says a special meeting is warned for Friday October 6 at 8:30 a.m. to review the terms of the agreement and to ratify.

The meeting will take place at F.H. Tuttle Middle School.

Tuesday night was the second mediation session in just days.

Teachers and the board met last Thursday for over eight hours, but did not reach an agreement.

The next day, teachers agreed they would strike this Wednesday if they could not reach an agreement with the board before then.

Both sides said Wednesday there were shifts from the last mediation session to this week's session.

"Most importantly though, that the parties really stayed at the table, and worked it through together and both sides were able to compromise and reach that tentative agreement in the early hours of yesterday morning. So movement was made on both major issues; health care and salary disbursement," said Everitt.

"I think the parties really worked hard to come together to a resolution that met everybody's needs and and the board was focused on all stakeholders needs, so I think that was reflected in the long hours and hard work. But we're delighted that the teachers just ratified, and we're looking forward to moving on that as well," said Fitzgerald.

Both sides also commented on the process.

"Both sides would agree that the process could have gone more smoothly and that this amount of discord and disruption in the school year isn't what's best for students," said Everitt.

"It's really the hard work of both parties that gets something done in the time frame that we were talking about and we really wanted kids in school and teachers in the classroom," said Fitzgerald.


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