Lapsed teacher contract prompts citywide walk in

GHS+teachers+walk+in+together+to+show+their+solidarity
GHS teachers walk in together to show their solidarity

GHS teachers walk in together to show their solidarity

Jenna Taormina

Jenna Taormina

GHS teachers walk in together to show their solidarity

CAROLINE ENOS, Staff Writer

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On Friday morning, GHS students watched as a band of white polo clad teachers walked into school at exactly 7:15, the time their contracts call for them to arrive at school.

Teachers at the middle and elementary schools also participated in the walk to show solidarity, and draw attention to the fact the teachers are working under a lapsed contract.

“It’s not a negative action of any sort,” said GHS history teacher Timothy Kearns. “It’s symbolizing teacher unity.”

“There has been a stalling on the negotiations of the teachers’ contracts,” said GHS math teacher Gus Martinson.

“Teachers are also looking for health and safety issues within the school buildings to be addressed, since they distract us students and teachers,” said Martinson. “Money needs to be put aside for yearly maintenance. I know the principal and superintendent have tried to address these issues but their hands seemed to be tied financially.”

“It’s hard to have respect for a place when it’s not kept up,” says Gloucester Teachers Association President and history teacher Andrea Tarantino. “They fix broken windows by nailing them down, which is a safety issue. One young lady had the tip of her finger cut off by them.”’

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Teachers are also concerned with the push to add another 90 hours a year to elementary school teachers work hours without compensation.

As of now, high school teachers spend 990 hours a year within the school building while elementary school teachers spend 900. However, high school teachers are only in front of students for five blocks and elementary teachers are in with students for most of the school day.

“I would like it to be brought to the attention of the public that it is important to value the education of our students as much as we value the people that educate them,” said Tarantino. “The school committee has a budget to protect but we also have families to protect.”

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