Region 1 Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain reported to the All Board Chairmen Committee Wednesday that four administrators plan to form a union.
Director of Special Education Carl Gross, Special Education Supervisor Martha Schwaikert, Housatonic Valley Regional High School Principal Matthew Harnett and Housatonic Assistant Principal Ian Strever have decided to join together as a bargaining unit.
“This will give us a formal process and rules,” Chamberlain said. “It will unify what they’re doing.”
She said she’ll have to call the state Department of Labor and the teachers union to see what steps need to be taken for such a move to take place.
She, Assistant Superintendent Diane Goncalves and Business Manager Samuel Herrick will continue to negotiate as individuals.
While the ABC Committee will continue to recommend to the Region 1 Board of Education the contract renewals for the superintendent, assistant and business manager, the union contracts will be negotiated directly with the Region 1 board.
Last year controversy arose when the committee, which is advisory, and the school board, voted to extend the contracts of the five central office administrators another year to 2015. Opponents said adding conditions to the contracts, such as changing vacation days or adding provisions for annuities, made them new contracts that should have been voted on again by the board.
The first round of the budget vote was rejected, with some saying that the contract extensions were the reason. When the administrators agreed to removing the added year, and some monetary reductions were made by the board, the budget was approved at the second vote.
It appears that all the administrators prefer to negotiate three-year contracts with every detail spelled out for all three years.
“The consensus of the Salisbury board is a three-year contract with everything defined, just the way the teacher contracts are done,” said Brian D. Bartram, its chairman. Marilyn Yerks of the Sharon board and Paul Cortese of the Kent board said their respective boards agreed to the same process.
“Cornwall doesn’t see the current way as a problem, but will go either way,” said Chairman Rebecca Hurlburt.
Ross Grannan, chairman of the Lee H. Kellogg Board of Education, said his group will be discussing the matter at its meeting next week, but he thinks members will agree to the three-year plan. “The current way is muddy,” he said.
The question arose on whether instituting the three-year model should wait until after the current contracts are complete. In the case of the five top administrators, that would mean waiting until 2014. Harnett and Strever have contracts that run through 2015.
Bartram said he favored reopening the current contracts and replacing them with the three-year plan beginning in July.
Members of the RSS have decided to form a union that will negotiate contracts with the Region One BOE it was announced last night at the ABC meeting in Salisbury. Sam Herrick, the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent will negotiate their own contracts, but not as a union. The ABC committee appears to be heading in the direction of three year, total inclusive contracts for both the administrators and the members of the RSS that are forming the union. The state will be contacted about the procedure to set up the union. Video of the ABC meeting will follow on this site later today
To all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
The rumor that 35 out of 94 Seniors at Housatonic failed the first marking period is FALSE.
regiononereport.com spoke to Housatonic Principal Matt Harnett and got the full story:
35 seniors out of 94 at Housatonic received a “F” on their report cards, that is the cold, hard truth.
Receiving an “F” is not failing the marking period, it is failing a particular subject that period.
Not good news for sure, but much better news than the rumor that has been going around.
(link to Register-Citizen story)
An open letter: Secrecy and bullying on the Torrington school board
Published: Monday, November 05, 2012
An excerpt from the Republican-American today
(full story available at above link)
KENT — The Region 1 school district is debating whether three-year administrator contracts should be adjusted annually. The All Boards Chairmen Committee of the region, which serves Canaan, Cornwall, Falls Village, Kent, Salisbury and Sharon, asked its members to survey their local school boards determine if members want to change the process. The Kent Board of Education weighed in Thursday. The Region 1 Board of Education will likely address the question at its meeting at 6 p.m. today. The region currently maintains three-year contracts for each of the five administrators paid through the central office, also known as the Regional School Services Center. Because each contract includes salary figures for only one year, the contracts are revised yearly.
After the Region 1 budget was defeated, the administrators voluntarily agreed in May to forego the extension so the current contracts expire June 2014. The budget was approved May 31.
Kent’s board discussed havng a more formal process for the multiple-year contracts that would include a timetable of raises similar to the one used in teacher contracts. Member CiCi Nielsen said that she supported setting the salary for more than one year because reopening the contracts creates such public discourse, discussion and disagreement. “It gets tiring,” she said. Chairman Paul Cortese noted that the ABC Committee and the Region 1 board have done nothing wrong by granting a one-year extension to the contracts each year, but he listened as board members said they didn’t want to get into salary discussions every year. Member Allan Priaux said that a three-year contract would make it easier for towns to plan ahead. Member Dana Slaughter said she didn’t think a one-year contract was fair and said renegotiating extensions did not seem to be a good use of time.
Others in the region are looking closely at the wording of the contracts. Patricia A. Mechare of Falls Village has all five contracts for this year and the previous one and has noticed some changes in wording that she thinks were done without board approval.