Saratoga Springs teachers march into board meeting; demanding a contract

Teachers in Saratoga Springs have made up their minds and they want changes.

Dozens of educators marched into a school board meeting Thursday, Nov. 9, pushing for a signed deal.
Teachers are putting on the pressure.

Teachers have made up their mind: they want a contract

Dozens of educators marched into a school board meeting Thursday, Nov. 9, pushing for a signed deal.

“My colleagues are feeling underappreciated and disrespected because we can’t come to a fair contract,” said one teacher addressing the school board during public comment.

They’re demanding a contract.

“I implore the board to take action in securing and maintaining teachers. It’s what our current and future students deserve,” a teacher of nearly 30 years said.

Around 50 teachers took up every seat at the Saratoga Springs City School District board meeting at Caroline Street Elementary School.

Many of the teachers held up signs that clearly stated what was wrong: “Two years is too long,” “No contract? A race to the bottom,” and “Teaching conditions = learning conditions.”

“We want the board to see, we want the administration to see we’re committed to getting a contract. We want to show them we’re here. We’re willing to talk; we’re willing to negotiate and keep going with this.We’re unified in what we want,” Timothy McGuiggan said, Saratoga Springs Teachers Association

McGuiggan is the union representative for many of the teachers. He says teachers are simply looking for a contract that allows them to remain competitive, and retain and recruit good teachers.

“We’re losing teachers to other school districts in the area,” he said. “It hurts morale. It’s tough to get yourself motivated. It’s a very difficult job right now.”

McGuiggan said showing up in numbers emphasizes the need for a contract. Now.

“We’re working with them. They’re not shutting us out. They are working with us on it but we just can’t seem to get over the last hump,” he said.

NewsChannel 13 tried to speak with the school district’s superintendent, Dr. Michael Patton, after the public meeting ended but he told us to set up an interview with him on Monday, Nov. 13.