Last year, the way we negotiate health care changed in a fundamental way. Instead of bargaining at the local level, educators and school boards are bargaining a single, statewide health care package. A team of educators will bargain directly with a team of school board members. As the team of educators, we are teachers and education support professionals who are responsible for bargaining on behalf of our sisters and brothers. We are supported by a team of Vermont-NEA field representatives.
Our team is dedicated to negotiating in good faith on behalf of educators across the state. Get to meet us.
Barb Griffin has been a teacher for 26 years, most of it teaching third grade. She currently teaches Title 1 reading at Rivendell. She is the president of her local, which, while she was chief negotiator, was the first district in the state to settle a contract during the transition to new VEHI plans.
Tom Payeur is a math teacher at Winooski High School. He is a leader in the Winooski Education Association, and was the 2019 Vermont State Teacher of the Year.
Larry O’Connor has been a special educator at Middlebury Union High School for 16 years. For 14 years, he has been active in his local, the Addison County Educators Association. He is now co-president, but has served as grievance chair, negotiator, and lead negotiator.
Loriann Darrell has worked for the Springfield School District since 1988. She is president of the Springfield School Staff Association, and has been a negotiator for 20 years. Loriann also sits on the Vermont-NEA Board of Directors.
Mike Campbell started his career at BFA-St. Albans in 1999. In 2001 he joined the bargaining team and a cycle leader was chief negotiator. From 2007-2010 he helped lead the BFA Support Staff negotiations until a new support staff team could take on the task. Since all four Franklin Central SU schools were required to negotiate contracts together, Mike was the chief negotiator for all four schools. In the newly formed Maple Run Unified School District, Mike remains the chief negotiator for his local, the Maple Run EA.
Nora Skolnick, from Randolph, has been an elementary teacher and local leader for 30 years. She has been on her local’s negotiating team for 10 years, and is now serving as president for two years. She remarked that when she started teaching, health insurance was not something anyone had to worry about. She is committed to bargaining a fair, equitable, and affordable healthcare package.
Russel Leete has worked as an IT support professional for 18 years. He is the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Chapter Chair for the Montpelier-Roxbury School District.
Will Adams is a seasoned local negotiator. He is a sixth-grade teacher at Hardwick Elementary School and a frequent commenter on education issues.
William Douglas is a special education paraeducator in the Caledonia Central Supervisory Union who works primarily with middle- and high-school students. A local leader for 18 of his 20 years in the SU, Bill has been a president, vice president, chief negotiator, and spokesman.