RIPR News
4:43 pm
Tue September 11, 2001

Middletown Dipute Goes to Court

A Newport Superior Court judge has taken no immediate action on a request to order striking teachers in Middletown back to work.

Instead, the judge has scheduled a hearing on Friday. More talks are expected before then. The National Education Association of Rhode Island says the next round of bargaining will be at six o'clock tonight.

This is the sixth day classes have been cancelled in Middletown. Union leaders had expected a back to work order today. ?The difficult part is that the school committee gets the back to work order and the teachers go back and the animosity and the anger between the two sides continue for months. And that's not good for education in Middletown,? said National Education Association of Rhode Island President Larry Purtill.

Purtill expected teachers to comply with a back to work order. ?I think the feeling is from what I?ve heard that they'll obey it, but I'm sure there's going to be some discussion. I know there's certainly some ill feeling right now toward the school committee and especially the superintendent,? he said.