Contract trouble

Last modified: 3/18/2011 12:00:00 AM
On Jan. 28, in the scheduled mediation session, the Shaker Regional Education Association and the Shaker Regional School Board reached a tentative agreement on a collective bargaining agreement for 2011-12. On Feb. 8, the SREA ratified the tentative agreement, which offered slightly less to SREA members than the current contract, knowing that it represented a show of consideration for the taxpayers. On Feb. 10, the school board rejected the tentative agreement, 3-2. This was extremely disheartening and concerning to SREA members because the board decided not to allow the negotiated contract to be presented to the voters.

On Feb. 24, the board reallocated approximately $67,000 in funds previously allocated in the budget for the teachers' contract, citing the repeal of the evergreen law as justification for decreasing the district's obligations. NEA-NH is in the process of bringing litigation against school boards for their actions in regard to the evergreen law. It is our hope that we will be able to resolve the contract issues at the school district meeting tonight and avoid costly litigation and fact-finding fees that will not serve our students in any way.

The school board has placed us in a difficult situation by refusing to include money for our contract in its proposed budget. As a result, the SREA must ask district members tonight to amend the budget to include money needed to support a reasonable contract.



(The writer is president of the Shaker Regional Educational Association.)

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