NEW: Chariho Teachers File Unfair Labor Practice Complaint
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
In a late Labor Day meeting, Chariho teachers voted to return to work today despite actions by the School Committee that local union leaders call illegal. Last week, following eight months of unproductive bargaining talks, the committee moved to cut teacher salaries while extending other, non-monetary provisions of the 2009-12 contract until a new agreement can be reached. The law does not allow such unilateral changes to an existing collective bargaining agreement.
In response, the National Education Association Chariho (NEA Chariho) filed an unfair labor practice with the RI Labor Board, and plans to file a complaint with the RI Department of Education for the committee’s failure to provide teacher step increases as required by law. The parties will begin mediation today at 4:30 pm in the Providence law office of Roger Williams University.
NEA Chariho president Bob Mayne said, “Despite the hardship and stress this places on our teachers, the vote to return to our classrooms today was overwhelming. We are professionals who care deeply about our students and the communities we serve.”
The School Committee’s actions come on the heels of a celebratory gathering announcing the achievements of teachers and students in all of Chariho’s schools. The RI Department of Education has rated all four elementary schools – Ashaway, Charlestown, Hope valley, and Richmond – as “commended,” the highest possible distinction. No other district in Rhode Island has as many commended schools. Chariho High School and Middle School received a “leading” rank, the next category down from commended.
In addition, Hope Valley Elementary was designated a Blue Ribbon School for 2011, and Ashaway Elementary was ranked number one in science achievement for 2010-11.
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