For Immediate Release
May 5, 2017
Contact: Stephanie Mandeville
National Education Association Rhode Island
Facing arbitration, discouraged teachers ratify contract
East Greenwich, R.I. – The East Greenwich Education Association (EGEA) on April 26 ratified the contract proposed by the East Greenwich School Committee. EGEA approved the agreement under duress as the school committee threatened further punitive measures if ratification did not take place.
“Teachers are angry at the school committee and the town council for continuing to underfund the public schools of East Greenwich,” said Judi Cavanaugh, co-president of EGEA. “The actions of the council and school committee undervalue our teachers and East Greenwich educators feel disrespected by this oppressive contract.”
Even though the school committee claimed moving teachers to a high-deductible health plan was to ensure that all municipal employees had equitable benefits, many of those other employees enjoy fringe and retirement benefits not available to the teachers.
“EGEA acknowledges the Town of East Greenwich is facing financial issues, but is disappointed in the members of the school committee and the Town Council for making choices that put teachers last,” said JoAnne Leach, chair of the negotiating team.
Despite the severe terms and conditions of employment forced by the school committee, East Greenwich teachers remain committed to their efforts in providing exemplary classroom experiences to their students.