Dear Members of the Andover Public Schools Community,
We are writing to inform you that today, the Andover School Committee filed a petition with the Department of Labor Relations seeking to prevent the Andover Education Association (AEA) from engaging in an illegal strike.
We decided to take this extraordinary action after collecting significant evidence that the union leadership plans to call for an illegal strike vote this evening, November 9.
It is vitally important to the School Committee to avoid any disruption that negatively impacts our students. We have been clear with the AEA bargaining team that we want to reach agreements that are fair and equitable to teachers and IA’s while operating within well-established budget parameters that enable the district to continue providing the same level of education students and families expect and deserve.
Last night, members from the Unit B negotiating teams met to discuss the School Committee’s most recent offer, which included an increased cost of living adjustment for instructional assistants of 13.75% over three years. Unfortunately, the AEA bargaining team abruptly ended negotiations last night without responding to the School Committee’s offer. We are hopeful the AEA bargaining team will provide a response at the next bargaining session, scheduled for November 14.
Rather than choose an illegal strike vote that will only hurt our students and sow division within our community, we urge the AEA to end the theatrics and come back to the table and negotiate in good faith. We will continue to provide updates to the community when possible.
Chair, School Committee