Wednesday, May 03, 2000

Teachers to vote on staff changes

District split means new roles

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        Teachers in the Middletown/Monroe Schools will vote this week on contract amendments for dividing teaching staff as they move from one district to two.

        A vote on the proposal is scheduled for today and Thursday, said Carolyn Davidson, president of the Middletown Teachers Association. The MTA represents about 650 teachers, nurses, counselors, librarians and speech therapists at schools in Middletown and Monroe.

        “It's a very complex proposal,” said Ms. Davidson, a sixth-grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School. “It takes into consideration openings and seniority. Teachers already at a building have first priority to stay.”

        Members of the MTA were given copies of the proposal before spring break and attended a briefing on the plan Tuesday. The negotiating team has taken no position on the proposal.

        “It's a very difficult position for us to be in. At this point we're representing two districts,” Ms. Davidson said. “What may be good for one district may not be good for the other. You want to be as fair as possible.”

        If the proposal is ratified, it will be brought to the Middletown and Monroe boards of education for approval.

        Ms. Davidson said she would have results late Friday or Monday.

        The proposal “addresses the situation very fairly,” said Brenda Long, director of human resources for the Middletown/Monroe Schools. “It protects the jobs of all people and provides choice.”

        The Middletown board is tentatively set to vote on the amendment at its regular meeting Monday, depending on the ratification vote, said Dr. Mark Frazer, president of the Middletown Board of Education.

        “I think both school dis tricts ... have worked cooperatively with our staffs to ensure our students in both districts will continue to have a quality education while being sensitive to the needs of our staff,” Dr. Frazer said. “It provides the greatest stability and flexibility during this transition.”

        Negotiations are continuing with the Middletown Classified Employees Association.


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