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TEACHERS, SC Choose Mediation to Settle Contract Dispute

Members of Groton Dunstable Educators' Association and the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District School Committee agreed to work with an outside mediator to resolve issues currently preventing the two sides from reaching a new contract between the GDRSD and the Educators in Unit A.

Members of the GDEA addressed Groton Dunstable Regional School District School Committee at its meeting Wednesday.

"Negotiations were not heading in a productive direction. We extended the previous contract which had expired in August. Now we must take the next step and hope that an outside mediator can assist us," said Adam Snodgrass, president of the Groton Dunstable Educators' Association.

GDEA and the School Commmittee began contract negotiations on April 15 and held a dozen bargaining sessions before reaching the current impasse. The educators' previous pact, which expired in August, was initially extended to November and is now extended until February during this process of mediation.

Snodgrass describes school district proposals thus far as punitive against educators and dangerous for the long-term stability of the successful school district.

"Members of the GDEA have shown themselves more than willing to work with the communities to ensure the towns' economic stability. During the recession, educators agreed to big changes in their health insurance coverage and to forgo raises in some years while accepting deeply suppressed raises in other years," Snodgrass said.

Snodgrass also pointed out that teachers, counselors, librarians, school nurses, administrative assistants and paraprofessionals have done a tremendous job in maintaining high-quality education across the district as the administration and management of the regional system have gone through rounds of turmoil.

"If we do not invest now in the education system, I am worried that we will start to lose some very good teachers and no longer be able to attract the type of highly qualified personnel we now have in our classrooms," Snodgrass said.

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