Support our teachers, vote Sept. 9
To the Editor:
I am a long time Milford resident and I also work as a teacher in our school system. This year we have a special vote to decide on the teacher contract. On September 9th a warrant article will be voted on by the town to decide on the teachers’ contract.
The negotiations between the school board and the teachers’ association reached an impasse last year and went to fact finding. The Collective Bargaining Agreement with the School Board has always contained a procedure to resolve negotiation disputes and impasses that ends with submission of the dispute to a fact finder. A fact finder is a person who searches impartially for the facts of a subject or situation, especially one appointed to conduct an official investigation, as in a labor-management conflict. Once complete, the fact finder’s recommendations are then voted on, as is and without modification, by the town.
The fact finder reached an impartial compromise based on the facts of this situation and the town now has an opportunity to vote on that compromise. While the fact finder’s recommendations did not meet our expectations, we are pleased that the process defined in our agreement with the Board was followed in an open and transparent manner and that a compromise was reached so the voters in Milford can now have their say.
Last year, the teachers took a 0% raise, providing steps to those on the current pay schedule only, but the majority of the teachers are off the pay schedule.
As with any professional employee, Milford’s teachers deserve a modest raise and the best benefits we can provide. The warrant article shows that the teachers have agreed to a modest 1.5% pay increase the first year, 2% the second year, and 2% the third year. As you may recall last year, we passed similar raises for other education employees, the administrators, custodians and the paraprofessionals. The teachers have asked us for nothing more than we have provided for those employees.
The negotiations process has led to a fair compromise. Our teachers deserve our support and I plan to vote “Yes” on this warrant article on September 9th.