School Board chooses negotiating team (9/10/09)

Sept. 10, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

The Williston School Board picked two members at its Sept. 2 meeting last week to be part of a teacher contract negotiation team. School Board Chairwoman Darlene Worth and board member Keith Roy volunteered to be part of the group, comprised of members from school boards from all over Chittenden South Supervisory Union.

Teacher contract negotiations are expected to begin sometime in the fall. The negotiations will take place during a time of economic uncertainty and rising health care costs.

The current teacher contract expires in June 2010. Worth and Roy were part of the negotiating team that hammered out that contract three years ago.

In that instance, negotiations continued nearly four months past the expiration of the previous teacher contract. In the current contract, teachers’ pay raises have averaged approximately 4 percent per year. Teachers also contribute 12 percent toward the premium of their health insurance plans.

CSSU Human Resources Director Cindy Koenemann-Warren said negotiations could be completed by the end of the school year if all goes “really well.” If not, CSSU school boards should expect to continue past the expiration of the current contract.

Roy will be up for reelection in March. If he is not reelected, the board will have to appoint another member to replace him on the negotiation team, Koenemann-Warren said.

“It has happened this way in the past,” she said.