The Albuquerque Public Schools board tabled a vote on any changes to the district agreement with the teachers union at Wednesday’s meeting after five months of negotiations.
Legal action could be taken by the Albuquerque Teachers Federation union after declaring a stalemate within 24 hours of the meeting and have made a petition for the board to vote on the new contract agreement.
“The board tabled our contract tonight in a move to destroy public schools and our union,” ATF said in a tweet.
Yolanda Montoya-Cordova (district 1), Barbara Petersen (district 4) and Josefina Domínguez (district 6) voted not to table the vote, while board members Courtney Jackson (district 7), Danielle Gonzales (district 3), Peggy Muller-Aragón (district 2) and Crystal Tapia-Romero (district 5) voted to table the contract.
The new contracts would have provided the biggest pay raises to date for APS educators, and ATF President Ellen Bernstein said in a news release that the raises would now be jeopardized without the board’s approval of all the contract changes.
Policy committee chair Gonzales said the agreement needs to align with board policy and had concerns about teachers having the right to choose the materials to teach in their classes within the Common Core State Standards and argued that it results in a lower quality education.
Bernstein said it is actually better to give teachers some flexibility within the guidelines set forth and that the policies in question were already in previously approved contracts. Furthermore, Berstein said some of these discussions were at times disrespectful toward teachers and asked who is better equipped to teach these children, the people who went to school and are trained for it or the school board?
Jackson said the board only had five days to review the agreement and Gonzales asked for a few weeks for the board to review the new contracts.
To see or sign the ATF petition, click here.