2015-09-03 / Front Page

Both Sides Seeing Red

Wearing bright red in a show of solidarity, the Teachers Association of Newport (TAN) took their dispute with the Newport schools to the streets. Entering their second year without a ratified contract, dozens of teachers held an “informational picket” in the parking lot at Rogers High School on Wednesday, Sept. 2. TAN President Christie Cykert said, in part, “We’ve been negotiating a new contract since the spring of 2014. The last proposal was rejected by the TAN negotiating team.” In a week of salvos fired from both sides, the schools made a new contract offer that was rejected by the union, which also took a vote of "no confidence" in Superintendent Colleen Jermain and then filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the State Labor Relations Board. Teachers have agreed to come to class without a new deal but also voted for "work to rule," meaning they will do the minimum required by law. Increased class size, loss of benefits for retirees and past grievances are sticking points in negotiations. (Photo by Jack Kelly)

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