Teachers’ union votes to accept furlough days

Update: Superintendent Janet Robinson said on Monday evening that she is “relieved” that the Stratford Education Association voted to take the furlough days “rather than layoffs.”

“This saves teacher positions and is much better for our students,” Robinson said, noting that she expects the union representing the classroom instructional assistants to vote on furloughs again.

 

Original story: The union representing teachers at Stratford Public Schools will accept two unpaid furlough days as a way of helping the district resolve a $700,000 budget deficit and to avoid more than 40 teacher and staff layoffs.  

The Stratford Education Association voted on Monday to accept the two-day furlough plan as presented by Superintendent Janet Robinson. In a statement from the SEA, the union said the Stratford Board of Education will have to find more sustainable solutions for the Board of Ed’s financial situation.

“Teachers have voted to sacrifice for their students and colleagues. However, this vote is a temporary solution to the larger funding issues of the school district,” said SEA President Michael Fiorello. “We can no longer downplay the long-term consequences of short-term thinking in Stratford.”

Robinson had developed the idea of the furloughs to make up some of the deficit the Board of Ed is facing. Other unions had accepted the furlough plans, including the administrators’ union.

The teachers’ union had voted in December to reject the furloughs. Robinson then called for layoffs unless the furloughs were accepted by the teachers’ union.

“It’s unfortunate teachers were forced to choose between two options – furloughs or layoffs. Both disrupt the teaching and learning of hundreds of students in our public schools,” said SEA Secondary Vice President Kristen Record. “Students, parents, and teachers deserve a long-term vision to ensure high-quality public education.”

The SEA said the teachers are calling for the Town Council and Board of Education to work together with Robinson and the SEA “to come up with viable options that move Stratford forward, not backward.”

Stay with The Stratford Star for more information on this story. 

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Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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