Labor Issues, Special Education
November 20, 2013

Lexington teachers rally in protest of contract impasse

Author: Matt Smith
Source: NYSUT Communications
lexington school for the deaf
Caption: NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira calls for Lexington school administrators to return to the negotiating table. Photo by Miller Photography.

QUEENS - NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira demanded administrators at the Lexington School for Deaf show teachers and instructional assistants the respect they deserve and called for their return to the negotiating table to end a unilaterally imposed contract impasse. 

During a rally Tuesday outside the school in Jackson Heights, Neira assured the 140-member Lexington School Teachers’ Association that NYSUT stood in solidarity with the local, pledging the statewide union’s support in the fight to end the impasse. 

Despite the local’s wish to continue negotiations, Lexington administrators in September declared an impasse in contract talks and imposed terms of its final contract offer on teachers and instructional assistants - a move the union has declared as unlawful. 

At center of the contract dispute are base salaries, which have not been increased in eight years despite longer working hours being imposed on teachers and instructional assistants. Step increases at the Lexington school also have remained frozen since the 2007-2008 school year. 

Neira said the local - which is affiliated with NYSUT - deserves a contract that is negotiated in good faith, not one that is arbitrarily imposed.