December 17, 2009

Petition to support teachers’ position presented to Garrison School Board

Petition to support teachers’ position presented to Garrison School Board

By JILL DENNING GACKLE

It was a cold night in Garrison. But the lack of a teaching contact for Garrison teachers remains a hot topic in the community and weighs heavily at board meetings.
At a board meeting Tuesday evening, Sarah Thorson, parent of three Garrison students and former Garrison teacher who is now teaching at White Shield, presented a petition with 120 signatures. The petition, Thorson said, was “ongoing” from people who supported the teachers and were asking the board to drop its position on the impasse issue.
She said, “We would like to show our support for the teachers.” Seven teachers and one parent were visitors at the meetings.
Later, when the minutes of previous negotiations meetings were reviewed, board members on the negotiating team gave their thoughts. Daryl Engel said, “We are standing by the Fact Finding Commission at this time.” Steve Seidler said, “I know the teachers and the board are frustrated. We are trying to follow state law and I don’t think that is a bad thing.” Jerry Sayler said about the last meeting, “We’re at kind of a stalemate.” Board members said they are waiting for teachers to come forth with a new proposal and to initiate a meeting date.
The impasse is a result of a lack of agreement on one contract issue: teachers support the signing of an agreement that details the contract at the conclusion of negotiations – a practice done for more than a decade; the board wants to follow 1969 state law that doesn’t require the signing of an agreement.
The board went into executive session for almost 30 minutes with no action.
 


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