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tranniversary119
04-09-07, 17:22
Thank god!
No teacher contract agreement, and no school in Tiverton

By Marcia Pobzeznik/Daily News correspondent






Tiverton teachers walked a picket line at the entrance to the high school this morning to protest lack of progress in negotiating a new contract, while the School Committee and superintendent took steps to ask a judge to order the district's 205 teachers back to work.

The School Committee canceled classes today for 2,160 students after an emergency meeting Monday failed to resolve the dispute over wages and health benefits. School Committee Chairwoman Denise deMedeiros was at the high school this morning to see if the teachers would report to work, and when they didn't, she and Superintendent William Rearick asked the district's attorney, Stephen Robinson, to begin the process to seek a temporary restraining order to force the teachers back to work.

Rearick did not know if a court hearing would be held today, but said he expected to know by this afternoon if school would have to be canceled Wednesday.

Teachers in East Greenwich also went on strike today, forcing schools to close after contract talks broke down because of disagreements over salaries and health-care costs. Meanwhile, teachers in Burrillville decided to report to school today, despite failing to reach a contact agreement with district officials during five hours of negotiations on Labor Day.

In Tiverton, teachers began arriving at the high school this morning before 7:30, but instead of walking into the building where classes typically begin at 7:40, they grabbed picket signs from their cars and walked down North Brayton Road to the intersection of Bulgarmarsh Road to demonstrate.

Most of the signs read, "Come to the table," and "School board, do your job."

"None of us want it, but we'll get our point across," teacher Wayne Collins said of the picketing. "The key is to get the mediator to force them to the table." Collins is entering his 30th year as a teacher and said it was the first time he's been on strike, but his second time picketing.

Teachers picketed in 2002, but they reported to work without a contract. They worked to rule for months until a new contract was approved in early 2003.

"If you're not respected as a teacher, you've got nothing," Collins said. "This is a total lack of respect. I don't want to be the richest teacher in Rhode Island. I just want to teach in Rhode Island."

The contract expired Friday. The two sides are far apart on salary and health benefits.

Teachers met after school on Friday and decided to give the union leaders the authority to call a strike if the two sides could not come to an agreement by this morning.

"They gave us a proposal, but we needed time," deMedeiros said Monday night, hours after about 75 teachers picketed outside the high school as the School Committee met to review their latest proposal. "We needed time. They called a strike. We canceled school for Tuesday and we're going to court."

The School Committee has offered a 1.5 percent pay raise for each year of a three-year contract, but the union at first wanted 4 percent each year, deMedeiros said. The union's latest proposal calls for a 3.75 percent increase.

"We can't even afford their step increases, never mind a raise," de Medeiros said. "It's not looking good."

Any additional money beyond the amount the School Committee says it can spend on salaries and health care "comes from programs and teachers," deMedeiros said. "It gives us very little to work with."

Mullen said the union has given the School Committee three proposals to date. "The School Committee refuses to negotiate with us," she said this morning as union members walked up and down the busy road, some pushing baby carriages. "Basically, they've given us nothing but excuses."

Mullen said the School Committee's proposal to increase the amount teachers contribute to health benefit plans, coupled with proposed salary increases of 1.5 percent each year will result in a loss of pay amounting to $2,200 for those with a family plan and $1,300 for those with a single plan. The union proposed another health plan that they said would save the district $186,000, but the School Committee disputed that.

The loss of two professional development days is also a sticking point, said Mullen. An $86,000 line item in the budget that would have funded the contracted professional development days was stricken from the budget early on.

The legislation that went into effect this year that limits tax-rate increases has resulted in severe constraints on the school budget.

"I don't think they're only protesting us," deMedeiros said of the teachers' displeasure with the School Committee's response to date, "they're protesting the whole legislation."

Mullen agreed that "a lot of this is a result of the Paiva-Weed legislation and the funding from the state," but she said there is money in the budget to give the teachers a fair share.

Forever_Laras_56
04-09-07, 17:39
Thank god!
no school in Tiverton




.

NOOO!!!!!I HATE YOU NOW!!!jk
lucky u

jamieoliver22
04-09-07, 17:40
I would be gutted actually.. I know not being at school is all well and fun, but at the end of the day it will be ruining your education.

Angelus
04-09-07, 17:42
I would be gutted actually.. I know not being at school is all well and fun, but at the end of the day it will be ruining your education.

I agree with you.

Plus you'll have to make up for it when the strike is over.

Mad Tony
04-09-07, 17:43
I would be gutted actually.. I know not being at school is all well and fun, but at the end of the day it will be ruining your education.Ditto.

oocladableeblah
04-09-07, 17:43
I'm still in summer :) so all I'm gonna say is lucky you.

Legend of Lara
04-09-07, 17:45
I remember when the teachers at my school went on strike. Fun times... :)

Mad Tony
04-09-07, 17:45
I'm still in summer :) so all I'm gonna say is lucky you.I thought schools in America went back last week? :confused:

mathew9r
04-09-07, 17:47
if you have been off school for over 1 year (i have :p) it is sooooooo boring trust me ;)

but im going to school tommrow :D

tranniversary119
04-09-07, 17:52
It won't be ruining are edjucation we just make up the days off and we're not really doing anything this week so who cares. :D

Angelus
04-09-07, 17:53
It won't be ruining are edjucation we just make up the days off and we're not really doing anything this week so who cares. :D

So it's basically the same as you being in school, since you have to make up the days. (Like I said you would ;))

tranniversary119
04-09-07, 17:54
So it's basically the same as you being in school, since you have to make up the days. (Like I said you would ;))

Yup but we usually dont do much at the end of the year either.

Laurencarter
05-09-07, 19:57
Some teachers in South Africa was striking through the June Exams and everyone had to work through their 3 week june holiday to catch up.
Luckily the teachers at my school wasn't on strike. But the striking teachers from other schools came dancing and singing down the street and disturbed us when we were writing.

Jacob x5
05-09-07, 20:08
I would be gutted actually.. I know not being at school is all well and fun, but at the end of the day it will be ruining your education.

Very true, and I actually enjoy school anyway, for the most part.

To be honest, when I first read the thread title I thought you meant that the teachers were 'striking' as in 'strikingly beautiful'. :D