Public school teachers rallied Thursday afternoon after students had been dismissed for the day in the Hall of the Whale at Nantucket High School in support of their union negotiating team, which is in ongoing talks with the school administration and School Committee about the terms of a new contract.
Blasting the soundtrack to "Rocky" while cheering on their colleagues and union leaders, the teachers told the Current they wanted to send a message of solidarity and support just ahead of a scheduled negotiating meeting between the two sides.
Some teachers at the rally who asked to remain anonymous told the Current the parties were at or near an impasse over the new contract. The existing three-year collective bargaining agreement between the teachers' union and the School Committee expires on June 30.
Nantucket Teachers Association representative Page Martineau told the Current Thursday morning: "our ground rules prevent me from speaking to the media about contract negotiations until one side petitions for mediation, and that has not happened."
Nantucket Public Schools Superintendent Beth Hallett said she couldn't comment specifically on the negotiations other than to state: "It is the district's position that the parties are not yet at impasse."
The two sides have been negotiating since the beginning of October 2022, meeting on a bi-weekly basis.