Polo Friday draws attention to lapsed teacher contract


Caroline Enos

Teachers wear GTA polo shirts to show solidarity

KATELYN MOORE, Staff Writer, Editor

Wondering why all of your GHS teachers wore white polo shirts on Friday? Well, it’s not just GHS. All of the teachers in the Gloucester Public School district will be wearing white polo shirts every Friday until contract negotiations are resolved.

According to history teacher Richard Francis, teachers will be wearing white polos “as a show of solidarity.”

All Gloucester teachers work under a teaching contract. This contract regulates their pay scale and raises, their schedules, their evaluations, and their conditions of employment. This contract is made by the City of Gloucester’s school committee with negotiation from both the Gloucester Teachers Association and the school committee.

However, recently GTA and the school committee have not been able to come to an agreement for the renewal of the teachers’ contract. Up until recent disagreement, GTA and the committee renewed a contract every three years.

This year, both sides have not yet come to an agreement. Until an agreement is reached, the teachers will be working under their old contract, and wearing the white polos.

“We want the issues resolved so we can go back to focusing on issues in the classroom,” said Francis.

According to Gloucester Teachers Association president and full-time history teacher, Andrea Pretzler, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education comes up with new regulations for teachers to follow every year.

“We are asked to do more and more, but because of budget constraints, we’re not compensated,” said Pretzler. “We ask to be valued by the district, not just in words but in actions.”