The power of collective bargaining has been proven time and time again, so it is sad to hear that the Amherst School Board is unwilling to settle with the Amherst Education Association.
The Amherst Education Association and the Amherst School Board were not able to reach a settlement on a contract before the January 8th SB2 budget submission deadline. As a result, Amherst PreK-8 teachers will be working without the stabilizing influence of a contract for the third time in the past nine years.
The Amherst Education Association has already voiced significant concerns over the Board’s proposed 2014 budget, which relies on unprecedented reductions in teaching staff and increases in class size based on fiscal reasons rather than educational policy. Coupled with the failure to settle a contract, the AEA feels the Board was not willing to explore any options that would best serve the Amherst voters and the teachers that serve them.
Will Amherst follow the same path as other districts (notably Manchester) and move towards larger class sizes? What will happen to the district’s high ranking among NH schools? Amherst teachers strongly believe increased class sizes and fewer teachers are not in the best interest of Amherst’s PreK-8 students.
With hope, the Amherst Education Association and the Amherst School Board can resolve these issues before people are forced out and Amherst students’ learning environment is negatively impacted.
The Amherst Education Association represents Amherst School District teachers at Clark, Wilkins and Amherst Middle School, covering grades Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade.