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The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Timberlane teachers go public over contract talks

From the Eagle Tribune;

Timberlane teachers go public over contract talks
By Margo Sullivan

PLAISTOW — The teachers union is going public about its standoff with the Timberlane Regional District School Board.

Contract negotiations broke down because the School Board refused to discuss some issues related to working conditions, said Suzanne Judd, president of the Timberlane Teachers Association.

Judd said the union has 321 members, but the contract would cover all teachers and specialists working in the school district. That number is 409, she said, referring to the Timberlane Regional School District's annual report.

School Board Chairman William Baldwin did not return requests for comment over the past two days.

Judd released a letter Monday thanking voters for their past support and saying the teachers "express grave disappointment" the collective bargaining agreement did not appear on the March 10 ballot.

In an interview yesterday, she said union members wrote the letter to let the public know where the contract talks stand. The letter made it clear the breakdown was not over wages.

"Our teachers approached these negotiations understanding the economic difficulties facing our communities," the members wrote. "The board was presented with a number of proposals regarding working conditions for which there was no cost attached and the board simply refused to discuss those items."

The letter also said the teachers now will have to work under their current contract at least until March 2010, and the teachers will continue to provide the same "high-quality education" to the students.

Judd did not go into specifics about the sticking points because the issues probably will have to be negotiated if talks resume. She said she sees a "good chance" both sides will go back to the bargaining table.

Judd said the talks started at the end of the summer with the expectation an agreement would be ready for voters March 10.

That didn't happen.

"We did have a mediator come in, but we were at an impasse," she said. "It was very distressing, but both sides felt strongly about their issues. We walked away."


Anonymous said...

Hey teachers,

Times are tough. Be thankful that you have a job.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know the specifics before I comdemn the teachers.

Anonymous said...

I want to know more about the poor working conditions, and the "high quality education" my kids are supposed to be receiving.

Anonymous said...

The boards knows times are tough and the teachers won't strike (remember '72). No need to hurry here.
Board should use this "leverage" to get more accountability.

Anonymous said...

"I would like to know the specifics before a condem the teachers." Where was this level of civility and openmindedness with the police contract? No one went looking for specifics on that...people directed their rancor and vitirol towards one man...and wound up hurting the patrolmen...the guys who acutally go out and do police work.Instead of anyone seeking the answers from the members of the union, they relied on rumor and disdain to make their choice. I know times are tough but there are things worth spending money on.

Curt Springer said...

Moderator, move/delete this as you think best:

Letter to the editor from Atkinson police chief

Anonymous said...

To: Curt Springer

Considering his cronies reworded the origional warrant article at deliberative session to mean something different than what was originally intended, he's giving himself a mandate, while misleading the public again!

Warrant read:

Warrant Article for a Full time Police chief

To See if the voters will direct the selectmen to Advertise; direct the State Police interview unit to conduct the screening process, and hire the MOST QUALIFIED by objective standards of; education, and time in service(minimum qualifications are; a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice, and at least 15 years of certified service on a civil police force) candidate for the position of full time police chief. Said position to encompass the duties of the current part-time chief, and the current full time administrative Lieutenant, and will have a starting salary of $60,000, plus the commensurate benefits, enjoyed by the current chief of police. The selectmen are to begin this process within 14 days of this article being passed by the voters, and this process MUST be completed within 60 days of the passage of this article. Advertisements for this position are to run in at least 3 newspapers of general circulation in the Town, for at least 14 days.

They changed it to read:

Shall the Police Department Command structure remain the same as prescribed under the RSA'S?

Voters never got to vote on the real warrant. Disgusting! Extreamly Disgusting thing to write by Phil Consentino.