Troy teachers picket against unfair treatment by school district

More than 300 hundred teachers walked the picket line at Troy Athens High School on Sept. 3, urging the Troy Board of Education to come to an agreement on a new contract.

The Troy Education Association’s contract with the Troy School District expired on June 30, and bargaining has been less than productive in the Oakland County district. The school board is attempting to force teachers to take concessions, despite the district being in good financial shape.

“[Local teachers] work too hard to be treated so unfairly,” Troy teacher Suzanne Siegel said.

The informational picket preceded a Troy Board of Education meeting. But, as middle-school teacher Charlie Tull said: “This is not just a display for the Board of Education — it is for all of the people of Troy. We are standing up for Troy schools, Troy parents and our students.”

Troy teachers were joined by their colleagues from several surrounding districts, including many from MEA Local 1, Utica and Port Huron. MEA Vice President Nancy Strachan also joined the picket line and urged teachers to keep up the fight.

“The strength of this picket line shows that we support our union and that Troy teachers support each other,” said Adam Pennewell, a fifth-grade teacher who has taught in Troy for 15 years. “That’s the message to the community and to public school employees across the state.”