Winooski Teachers Vote To Strike

09/08/10 8:04AM By Neal Charnoff

(Host) Winooski teachers plan to go on strike next week if a contract is not reached with the school board.

Contract negotiations with the school board began a year ago, but fell apart over differences involving salary and how much teachers should pay for health insurance. 

The board used their right last month to impose working conditions in lieu of a contract.

Darren Allen is a spokesperson for the Vermont NEA.

(Allen) "Labor law allows a school board, once it's declared what's called finality, to walk away from the table, and basically say, these are the conditions you're going to work under."

(Host) Allen says it's the same law that gives teachers the right to strike. 

(Allen) "They're both very powerful weapons and they're thankfully used very rarely in Vermont, but Winooski made history last month in becoming the first school board in the state to ever impose working conditions two years in a row."  

(Host) Teachers have been demonstrating before school each morning to protest the board's decision to impose working conditions imposed after negotiations failed. The union voted yesterday afternoon to strike on September 15th.

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