Jeffrey Partington



For Immediate Release

August 27, 2018


Teachers Return to School with No Contract


Woonsocket, RI - Negotiations between the Woonsocket Teachers’ Guild and the Mayor’s negotiation team have reached an impasse.  “Apparently there is no appetite to commit to public education in Woonsocket from the City,” stated Jeffrey Partington, President of the Woonsocket Teachers’ Guild. “This is clear as the City has held the local contribution steady for 6 years, making sure the School Department goes back into the abyss of fiscal instability once the state funding formula levels off after this year.  The city and school departments have built a surplus on the backs of the lowest paid teachers in the state. Despite that, teachers in this City have done all they can to be professional while teaching in difficult conditions and keeping the city afloat financially. However, this has become more and more difficult as our teacher to student ratio increased to one of the highest in the state and we lose highly qualified educators to our neighboring cities every year.” Mr. Partington went on to point out,  “If the City has a surplus then it must go to the teachers. The Mayor must make the children of Woonsocket a priority.”


Woonsocket has an appointed School Committee as does the communities of Providence and Central Falls.  Although they recently signed a contract, Central Falls Teachers were without one for 2 years. Providence is entering their second year without a contract and Woonsocket Teachers are now entering the school year with no deal in place.  “It is no coincidence that the three districts in RI that have appointed School Boards or Committees have issues settling with labor. Obviously concentrating power in an appointed fashion in this state destroys the fabric of good relations. ” Continued Mr. Partington, “I am pleased the Woonsocket voters in July took back their voice and restored the elected School Committee.”


The contract is now at an impasse.  The Woonsocket Teachers’ Guild is considering all options, and hopes that the City will come back with a more reasonable offer of compensation.  “We want to go to work, cooperate with the administration, and give the students of Woonsocket the best education possible.” He added, “Teachers simply want a fair wage for all that they do. We know the City has the means to do this. Let’s hope the City sees it that way. Let’s hope the Mayor decides to invest in public education.”