Mount Vernon School Board meeting ends before it can start as teachers push for contract negotiations to speed up

The acting superintendent for Mount Vernon schools says the negotiations are ongoing.

Melanie Palmer

May 22, 2024, 12:24 AM

Updated 33 days ago


An explosive school board meeting in Mount Vernon was canceled before it could even begin Tuesday night.
Leaders of the Mount Vernon Federation of Teachers say they have been fighting for fair wages from the district for two years and are tired of waiting. Members of the union rallied ahead of the regularly scheduled school board meeting Tuesday evening before trickling inside and making their demands heard in front of the school board.
"We do just as much as the other districts and we deserve a better contract as well," says Thalia Langley.
That's when the meeting was canceled for the night. It will be rescheduled.
Last week, Mount Vernon teachers staged a "walk-in" protest for contract negotiations to speed up. They previously told News 12 that negotiations have been going on for about two years.
"Our stance is very clear, we deserve to be paid what our colleagues are being paid," says president of Mount Vernon Federation of Teachers, Keith McCall.
The acting superintendent for Mount Vernon schools says the negotiations are ongoing.
"That term fair has to be defined and that's where negotiations come in to really define what fair is," says Attorney for Mt. Vernon School District, Royce Russell.
The school board's president told News 12 in a statement:
"At our last session on April 30, 2024, the District presented a comprehensive proposal with the expectation that the MVFT would respond with a proposal to move the parties closer to resolution. The MVFT unfortunately canceled the session previously scheduled for Monday.
The parties are due to meet on May 29, June 13 and June 20. We are hopeful that our continued dialogue will result in a settlement that is fair and equitable for our valued staff and fiscally responsible for the taxpayers of this community."
This all comes as the school district awaits results from voters on their 2024-2025 school year budget. The budget is $271 million - it increases spending by 1.99%. School leaders say it features a 0% change in the tax levy.
You can read the full budget proposal here.

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