After 15 months of good-faith negotiation on the part of the Boston Teachers Union, the School Department continues to stall talks to arrive at a fair contract for the 5,500 Boston teachers who educate the city’s public school children. As the BTU states on their website, the points of contention in these talks include pay equity and paid maternity leave for teachers, but also support to improve learning conditions for students — this is clearly a fight not just for a contract, but for the future of our schools.
It’s also a fight for gender equality. As the Boston Globe reported earlier this month, 76% of Boston teachers are women, and the fact that the School Department refuses to budge on key issues like maternity leave suggests a reluctance to deal with the obstacles women face in the workplace every day. BTU President Richard Stutman commented, “We have little doubt that, were the BTU a workforce 76 percent male, we’d have settled the contract by now.”