Mediation Up Next for Teachers’ Union and Windham School Board
Monday, December, 16, 2019
For the fourth time in five years a mediator will work with the teachers’ union and the Windham School Board to help them come to terms on a teachers’ contract. According to board members, a $3.4 million contract was too much of a burden for tax payers. The union responded saying it has sacrificed enough and gave the face that they are responsible for paying a portion of their healthcare as their justification.
According to the statement from the union, “Despite our agreeing in principle to their request for significant healthcare cuts, the School Board prematurely and unexpectedly severed discussions.” No further explanation was given.
Information posted on Facebook by the School Board showed that over the last three years, there have been $2.4 million in salary increases and nearly $400,000 in insurance savings. This included an average raise of up to 4 percent for teachers over three years. The union called this information “misleading, divisive, and manipulative” to public perception and also said that it was “extremely concerning.”
Keleigh McAllister, the board’s Chairwoman called teachers important, but said that the board is responsible for protecting tax payers. According to McAllister, “Putting a teacher contract on the ballot at over $3.4 million when the town has not approved a total contract more than $1.5 million in over a decade was just not realistic.”
The salary proposal hinged on the district’s share of health insurance premiums dropping from 90 percent to 85 percent and raising co-pays from $10 to $20 – something the union is fighting.