This is a press release from the Burlington Vermont Progressive Steering Committee.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 22, 2016
CONTACT: Charles Winkleman, Burlington Progressive Party Chair, 802-448-0183, BTVProgressiveParty@gmail.com
BURLINGTON – A statement from the Burlington Progressive Steering Committee was released today, recognizing the difficult work of the school board but ultimately disagreeing with their decision to impose a contract on Burlington School District Teachers.
“We understand that BSD school board, made up of citizen volunteers, has a hard and often thankless job doing what they believe is best for the city, particularly due to the loss of federal, state, and local funds. However, the Burlington Progressive Party supports the rights of workers to unionize and bargain collectively. We support Burlington teachers and the BEA’s right to have a voice in the decisions that impact their working conditions, whether those conditions regard salary or continuing education, so that teachers can serve as excellent models for students in terms of lifelong learning, curiosity, and critical thinking.
Public sector unions have been the bulwark against government austerity measures. We urge the school board to return to the bargaining table, and we support our teachers if they ultimately choose to strike. We will continue to fight for a more equitable tax system at the state level, while in the meantime rejecting austerity measures that pit families against workers. We support a fair contract for teachers, and a bargaining process that treats them respectfully and equitably. “