The Baltimore City School Board Meeting was overrun with Baltimore Teachers Union members on Tuesday October 11, 2016. President Marietta English expressed the union’s frustration with a number of issues regarding the school system. Among the issues were the unresolved interval steps as well as unprocessed AUs. President English also lamented stalled teacher contract negotiations. She criticized a negotiating team representing the school district that is not negotiating in good faith. She drew attention to the change in negotiation team after the new CEO was installed, claiming the union now has to “renegotiate things we thought were settled.”
Before giving her remarks President English took a moment of silence to remember BTU member Merlyn Bell who recently passed away. During her remarks, the President also made sure to point out Sia Kyriakakos, a BTU member and product of the Union’s Teacher Leaders Program, was recently named Maryland Teacher of the Year. This marks the second consecutive year a Baltimore City teacher has won the award. Kyriakakos was in attendance wearing her bright yellow BTU shirt, standing in solidarity with President English and other union leaders there calling for a fair and equitable contract from the school board.
The contract is set to expire on October 30, 2016. At this point, another extension is expected unless the school system comes to the negotiation table with a fair contract offer, that doesn’t seek to withhold $10 million dollars in compensation and benefits. The Union is hoping the school system recalls the landmark 2010 contract agreement that has been the model for school districts and teachers unions across the country.