ST. THOMAS – Government House announced late Wednesday that Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. has signed a three-year pay deal with teachers’ unions across the territory to raise salaries for professionals, paraprofessionals and support staff in schools public.
The salary agreement with American Federation of Teachers Local 1826 in the District of St. Croix and Local 1825 in the District of St. Thomas-St. John District is retroactive and starts from September 1, 2020 and extends until August 31, 2023, according to the released statement.
“I’m glad we were able to find the funds to pay our educators the overdue salaries they deserve,” Bryan said in the prepared statement. “In addition to the new salary agreement, I would also like to thank the very many teachers at all levels who were on the front line during COVID-19 and worked diligently to try to maintain a semblance of ‘normal’ schooling for our students. .amid the spread of the virus.
According to the statement, the two unions ratified the agreement on January 28 during a virtual meeting.
St. Croix union president Rosa Soto-Thomas thanked Bryan and the members of his administration who worked on the deal “for their diligence and commitment.”
“Our members have done tremendous work during the pandemic on behalf of children in the Virgin Islands. They are our heroes. Unquestionably, they deserve to get a decent pay rise. The new contract is a step in the right direction,” Soto-Thomas said.
St. Thomas-St. John District Union President Leontyne Jones also expressed her gratitude noting that the agreement “demonstrates the real premise of a government-union partnership here in the territory.”
“As President of Local 1825, I think it’s safe to say that we are making progress on behalf of our members. However, we look forward to working with the governor on other challenges,” she said.