Milford teachers working without contract seek “fair deal”

Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 11:20 PM EST
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MILFORD, Maine (WABI) - Teachers at the Dr. Lewis Libby School in Milford say they’ve worked the school year without a contract.

Now, they’re increasing efforts for what they’re calling a fair deal.

Teachers say their most recent proposal would increase pay to a locally-competitive level without raising taxes.

They shared survey results with school board members Thursday night, which indicate 83 percent of union members have considered leaving Milford and 79 percent say staff morale is poor.

Parents said that their children’s learning experience has been compromised as teaching positions have shuffled.

Teachers spoke to a lack of trust and support from administration, who reiterated that despite the current negotiating gap, they appreciate what the teachers do.

“We’re just looking for respect and support, because we’re really looking out for what is best for the children of Milford,” Milford Teachers Association President Erica Spencer said.

“Our teachers and staff are our biggest resources,” added another teacher. “We have amazing people here, but if the climate doesn’t change, we will start to lose them. In fact, we already have.”

One exchange between School Board Chair Michael Hildreth and Spencer went as follows:

Hildreth: “You want us to compromise, has there been compromise from your side as well?”

Spencer: “Yes.”

Hildreth: “Do you feel confident in that?”

Spencer: “Yes.”

Superintendent Trish Clark tells us the school has made significant efforts to negotiate, and that all teachers have received their scheduled pay increases and other protections from the expired CBA.

She added the school is disappointed that the teachers’ association has publicized the process.

The next negotiation has yet to be scheduled.