Governor Albert Bryan Jr. has signed a three-year wage agreement with the American Federation of Teachers Local 1826 in the St. Croix District and Local 1825 in the St. Thomas-St. John District that provides salary increases to professionals, paraprofessionals and support staff.
The salary wage agreement is effective from to September 1, 2020, through August 31, 2023.
“I’m pleased we could find the funds to pay our educators the salaries they deserve and that are overdue,” said Governor Bryan. “In addition to the new wage agreement, I also want to thank the many, many teachers at all levels who were on the front lines during the COVID-19 and worked diligently to try and maintain some semblance of ‘normal’ schooling for our students amidst the spreading virus.”
The presidents of both AFT Locals expressed gratitude and appreciation that Governor Bryan was able to give the teachers their due.
Rosa Soto-Thomas, president of AFT Local 1826 on St. Croix, said that collectively, the AFT Successor Agreement was ratified by the members in both districts on January 28, 2022.
“I'd like to pay homage to the Honorable Governor Albert Bryan Jr. and his team as well as the joint AFT Negotiating Team for their diligence and commitment,” President Soto-Thomas said. “Our members have done a tremendous job during the pandemic on behalf of the children of the Virgin Islands. They are our heroes. Unquestionably, they deserve to get a decent pay increase. The new contract is a move in the right direction.”
Local 1825 President Leontyne Jones expressed similar sentiments.
“Governor Bryan’s signage of our contract exemplifies his commitment to improving the quality of life for each member of Local 1825. It demonstrates the actual premise of a government-union partnership here in the territory,” President Jones said. “As president of Local 1825, I think it is 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.