Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tiverton School Committee Rejects Contract Compromise

I just rec'd a press release regarding this. Here I thought it was settled &...the School Committee changes its mind? Strange. Guess a handshake just doesn't mean much nowadays.



The Tiverton School Committee last night rejected a tentative agreement entered into by the teachers union and the Schools Superintendent, William Rearick. The handshake agreement was reached on October 15th during a negotiating session with the Union and the Superintendent. The rejected compromise fell apart despite assurances from the Superintendent that he would “advocate” for the deal.

Amy Mullen, President of NEA Tiverton, the union representing the Tiverton Teachers said after the vote: “We are very disappointed in the School Committee’s decision. Every time we met with the Superintendent he told us we were getting closer and closer to closing the economic gap between us. Each time we closed the gap, they came back to the table telling us they had the numbers wrong.

The parents in Tiverton should be outraged their kids were used as pawns for someone’s re-election campaign.”Two of the current school committee members, Denise Medeiros and Sally Black, are up for re-election November 4th.

The Union and the School Committee, represented by Superintendent William Rearick and School Committee members Sally Black and Lenny Wright, met on 3 different occasions this school year in an effort to end the nearly two year long labor dispute. According to Ms. Mullen, the two sides were very close to an agreement for months. “First the Superintendent told us we were $52,000 apart. We made concessions to close that entire gap, with even some additional savings thrown in just to make sure the deal would be ratified by the school committee. Late last week the Superintendent told us that they were wrong and we were still $18,000 apart. This kind of behavior is why bad faith bargaining is illegal.”

Mullen also revealed for the first time that the members of the Union passed a no confidence resolution against Superintendent Rearick. “We first took the vote last year. But in an effort to move things forward we didn’t release the information to the press. But on October 24th, the members reaffirmed their vote of No confidence in Mr. Rearick.” According to Ms. Mullen, the vote was unanimous.
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