Utica Community Schools teachers angry over stalled contract negotiations

Union, district in talks since March

Teachers protest school board meeting at Utica Community Schools

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – Utica Community Schools teachers who are angry over stalled contract negotiations picketed the district’s board of education meeting Monday.

The union and the district have been talking since March, but there is still no contract.

According to the union, the sticking point is the speed of step increases.

“This is our second time around having to fight this hard for a contract,” said Liza Parkinson, Utica Education Association president. “The last time it ended in concessions, and this time we want to be honored and respected by our employer for the sacrifices we’ve made across nine years.”

The crowd chanted for Superintendent Christine Johns to negotiate.

The union filed an unfair labor practice charge against the district.

District spokesman Tim McAvoy said the district is bargaining in good faith.

“In previous contracts, during that time the teachers did receive half step increases for additional compensation for six of those nine years,” McAvoy said. “The actions of the UEA are to divert attention away from the union’s proposals. The proposals at this level have not been accepted at the vast majority of school districts in Macomb county or the region.”

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