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SOUTH KINGSTOWN â As the deadline for the school department and the teacherâs union to reach an agreement nears, tension between the two parties mounts with what seems to be different perspectives of what is going on at the negotiating table. At issue now is whether the school department is allowing for collaborative negotiations.
After reading the school committee letter sent through the school departmentâs listserv on Monday, July 11 NEASK President Christine Heid was shocked.
âI think the letter omits certain crucial facts. As weâve seen in the past, sadly the school committee is sending kernels of truth, but not the whole truth. Itâs spun from their point of view. Iâm concerned that although the letter is signed by the school committee, it is not our school committee. Theyâve never behaved this way. Itâs exactly what Attorney Daniel Kinder has behaved like in community after community,â Heid said.
In the letter, School Committee Chairperson Maureen Cotter states âthere exists a difference of opinion between the school committee and union leadership whether or not the policies defy the spirit of collaborative negotiations. It is our position the policies do not preclude us from engaging in collaborative negotiations to bargain over the effects of our educational policy decision. That is, the school committee is 100 percent willing and committed to engage in discussion.â
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