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MEETING BETWEEN TEACHERS UNION AND ADMINISTRATION GOES NOWHERE

A meeting Friday night between local American Federation of Teachers leaders and the administration ended inconclusively after three hours.
In attendance were Cecil Benjamin, president of the St. Croix teachers union, and Glen Smith, president of the St. Thomas-St. John AFT chapter. On the administration side were Education Commissioner Ruby Simmonds, chief negotiator Karen Andrews, St. Thomas-St. John District superintendent Rosalia Payne and St. Croix District superintendent Terrence Joseph.
Beginning with a march by teachers to the Legislature Building on St. Thomas on Sept. 15, there have been continual sickouts and job actions on school campuses on St. Thomas and St. Croix. The actions, which involve teachers not showing up for school, stem from media reports of salary increases and promotions for some government workers, while teachers have been owed retroactive wages and step increases for years.
Last week, Simmonds said teachers who had stayed out of school would have their pay docked. But the unions say there has been no formal, organized job action and therefore the Department of Education is not in a position to dock the teachers' pay.
According to a release from Government House, nothing was resolved during the meeting.
Another is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at Government House and will include additional labor union leaders.

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A meeting Friday night between local American Federation of Teachers leaders and the administration ended inconclusively after three hours.
In attendance were Cecil Benjamin, president of the St. Croix teachers union, and Glen Smith, president of the St. Thomas-St. John AFT chapter. On the administration side were Education Commissioner Ruby Simmonds, chief negotiator Karen Andrews, St. Thomas-St. John District superintendent Rosalia Payne and St. Croix District superintendent Terrence Joseph.
Beginning with a march by teachers to the Legislature Building on St. Thomas on Sept. 15, there have been continual sickouts and job actions on school campuses on St. Thomas and St. Croix. The actions, which involve teachers not showing up for school, stem from media reports of salary increases and promotions for some government workers, while teachers have been owed retroactive wages and step increases for years.
Last week, Simmonds said teachers who had stayed out of school would have their pay docked. But the unions say there has been no formal, organized job action and therefore the Department of Education is not in a position to dock the teachers' pay.
According to a release from Government House, nothing was resolved during the meeting.
Another is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at Government House and will include additional labor union leaders.