Click link above to see how a strike helped teachers win more time for planning.
This resonates with CVEU's focus: we want to see students succeed and be supported. We want to see less teacher and family turn-over.
"“The board continues to claim that it wants to work collaboratively with us to address the achievement gap, but their actions say otherwise,” Fran Brock, a Burlington High School History teacher who serves as president of the 400-member union, said the day before the strike. “They had an opportunity to work with us to address the achievement gap in our elementary schools. They did not take that opportunity. They had an opportunity to work with us to stem the exodus of teachers by reaching a deal that attracts and retains the best for our city’s students. They failed to do so. And they continued their years-long quest to institute top-down approaches that do nothing for our students.”"
"In a statement she provided the day the strike ended, Brock thanked the citizens of Burlington.“I know the teachers’ strike was stressful and all were anxious. But sometimes it takes a radical action to move us all forward.”"
Collective Bargaining Works
This year’s strike was only the second to occur in Burlington in forty years. The system works, but according to Brock, the crucial aspect of collective bargaining is having two sides that respect one another.
“Our board, and some of the administration, clearly made it known that they did not respect the union, thought little of teachers and really had no interest in understanding how schools need to function in today’s world. Going up against that sort of arrogance and obstructionism will be problematic regardless of the system used,” she says. “But to borrow from Winston Churchill, ‘collective bargaining is messy but it is better than any other alternative.’”"