Bennington Teachers Go On Strike After Talks Fail

10/19/11 7:35AM


VPR/Susan Keese
Bruce Lee-Clark, who teaches at the Southwestern Vermont Career Center, pickets outside the career center and Mount Anthony Union High School Wednesday.

More than 200 teachers in the Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union are on strike this morning for the first time in nearly two decades after unsuccessful negotiations with school administrators.

Stephanie Peters, the president of the Southwestern Vermont Education Association, said in a statement that the union is "beyond disappointed" with administrators.

The school district says on its website that school is closed Wednesday.

A final bargaining session started Tuesday afternoon and went late into the night. Union members had voted to authorize a strike last week.

At issue are teacher salaries, the amount teachers pay for health care premiums, and how much administrators are in control of the school day.

According to Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union Superintendent Catherine McClure, the teams have agreed to return to the bargaining table at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.


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