Nashua Teachers Union calls on the Nashua Board of Education to work together and create a fair agreement that is best for the students, teachers and the entire community.
NASHUA, N.H.– The President of the Nashua Teachers’ Union called on the Board of Education today to choose collaboration and cooperation over contentiousness, saying swift completion of a new, fair agreement would help stabilize the teaching force and enable the district to better attract and retain teachers – and serve students.
“We are at a crossroads,” said NTU President Adam Marcoux of the agreement that expired on August 31. “We can choose to go in the direction of collaboration and cooperation, and working together on a fair agreement that reflects the challenges and demands of our profession. Or, we can go the other way. The NTU believes it’s better for parents and students – and our entire community – to work together than to have a bitter, divisive fight. We invite the board to join with us and move forward.”
Marcoux noted the district filled about 100 teaching vacancies since the end of June. The vast majority of teachers leaving, he said, chose not to return to Nashua because salaries and benefits lag behind what other education professionals are paid in neighboring communities.
“Competitive salaries are essential if Nashua is going to attract the best teachers to serve students – and, once hired, keep teaching here. A revolving door benefits no one. The NTU is looking to the Board to negotiate a fair agreement that enables the district to move forward, and is not a penny more – nor a penny less – than taxpayers can afford,” Marcoux added. “Salaries across the board must reflect the knowledge, skills and dedication that Nashua’s teachers bring to their classrooms every day, and which enable us to continue to deliver a first-rate public education to all students.”
Marcoux said he is hopeful that talks, which resume with a mediation session on September 13, will be productive and result in a swift settlement. He said teachers are frustrated at the fourth expired contract in five years, and the lack of progress so far on a new deal. He said the NTU’s membership voted recently to resign from district committees on September 14 if no deal is struck, but would continue to write letters of recommendations for students; serve as club advisors; and continue volunteering their personal time to help the districts most precious resource – its students.
“There is considerable frustration among the membership with the way this Board is currently handling negotiations, but that frustration won’t impact our work on behalf of students,” Marcoux said. “We hope the board can get itself together and work productively this week to ensure our September 13 mediation session is successful.”