RSU 39 Board of Education Public Statement

11 years ago

    The Board has been made aware of statements made by representatives of the Eastern Aroostook Education Association, the union that represents teachers in RSU 39, concerning negotiations for the teachers’ collective bargaining agreement. The teachers’ contract did expire on July 31, 2013, and both parties are working hard to reach agreement on a successor contract.

    Although the previous contract has expired, both the Board and the Association are legally bound to continue all conditions in effect under that contract until a new contract is settled. This means that teachers continue to receive all of the same salaries and fringe benefits they received last year, and teachers are continuing to do their jobs as they did last year. Teachers are continuing to teach and perform their other usual duties, and they are being fully compensated for doing so.
    The Board and the Association have had difficulty reaching agreement on important issues regarding compensation and working conditions. The Board respects the Association’s interest in compensating teachers well for the work they do, while it also must be cognizant of the financial burden on our taxpayers in this difficult economy. Teachers’ salary and benefits currently amounts to over $8.3 million.
    The parties are following State procedures for settlement of the contract. We have attempted mediation with a State mediator. The next step is fact finding, in which both parties will present their position to a three-member panel, which will then recommend terms of a possible settlement to the parties.
    The Board understands that the teachers are anxious to settle the contract, and sincerely appreciates teachers’ continued hard work and professionalism in service to our students as negotiations continue. We are confident that a settlement can and will be reached in the near future, and we appreciate the patience of all members of the community as we continue the negotiation process.