The verdict is in: Charlottesville City Schools will now engage in collective bargaining.
The crowd broke out clapping and hugging as City Schools became the third school division in Virginia to pass collective bargaining.
“It’s been a journey and I’m really pleased to be a part of it,” said Board Member Lisa Larson-Torres.
Last month, the school board announced its support for collective bargaining.
The union originally submitted its proposal last spring after reaching a super majority among City School employees. Almost a year later, the union and the school board will now engage in two bargaining units — one for licensed employees (such as teachers and technicians) and another for all other workers (such as custodians).
Now the union will work out which items — like benefits and wages — it wants to negotiate with the board. Each unit is allowed to negotiate two issues per contract. The first contract will last three years. After that, the two parties can haggle again.
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More about local efforts to collective bargain
Albemarle County forced to reconsider allowing school workers to collective bargain after more than 100 people descend on meeting
“If we want to keep the best teachers we have in Albemarle County, we have to recognize that this is something we have to deal with,” said School Board member Graham Paige.
Charlottesville is about to become just the third school division in Virginia to allow its union to collective bargain
“I think the fact that it was sticky and complicated and difficult makes it even sweeter. We had to work really hard for it and it feels really good,” said Jessica Taylor, president of the Charlottesville Education Association.
City workers can now negotiate their salaries and insurance.
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