The union that represents public school teachers in Andover voted to enact “work to rule” after contract talks with the Andover School Committee stalled Wednesday.

“After offering teachers yet another substandard cost of living adjustment, the school committee walked away from the bargaining table this evening,” the Andover Education Association said in a Facebook post Thursday. “As such, the expanded bargaining team unanimously voted to enact work to rule, which will begin this Friday.”

The school committee offered a 9.65 percent increase over a three-year contract and removal of a step increase at Wednesday’s bargaining session, Spruce said in a note to families Thursday evening. The offer also included a 9.5 percent stipend increase.

“For approximately 25% to 30% of our teachers at the top step in the Master’s +75 credits lane, their salary in year one of the contract will be $112,058,” Spruce wrote.

Beginning Friday, teachers “may cease all services that are not customarily performed by educators.” The Andover Education Association is planning to have teachers stand in front of schools during drop off and pick up times. Examples of the duties teachers will not perform under work to rule include sending weekly newsletters to families, volunteering for committees and field trips, chaperoning events outside of school hours, and offering extra help outside of normal school hours.

“We are in the process of determining the impact the Work-to-Rule action will have on students and families,” Spruce wrote. “We remain hopeful the union will respond to today’s offer at our next meeting and we will soon have a successor agreement.”

Teachers and instructional assistants have been working without a contract since the start of the school year. The school committee’s offer was in response to AEA’s most recent proposal for a $2,500 bonus and 16 percent raises for teachers over three years, down from its previous proposal of 16 percent in raises and two $2,500 bonuses.

File photo: Dave Copeland/Andover News

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