NEW ROCHELLE, NY — With less than 70 days to go until the current F.U.S.E. contract expires on June 30, 2019, the union’s and the school district’s negotiating teams have not had a single meeting.
The clock is shorter than that because the board and union members would still have to ratify any agreement.
“The union’s goal is to have a successor agreement to present to its members for their approval no later than June 18,” said F.U.S.E. President Martin Day — 55 days.
In the April 22nd F.U.S.E. newsletter, Daly disclosed that after a recent meeting about “middle school minutes” with district administrators and Gus Mountanos, the school board’s attorney, “Cheryl Smith and I shared our dismay that, despite repeated efforts on the part of the FUSE to move forward with scheduling negotiations meetings, it was then mid-April and we had not had one meeting with the school district to discuss contract negotiations.”
Daly believes the school board does not care about reaching agreement on a successor agreement for the 2019-2020 school year.
“We informed Mr. Mountanos that this failure to even schedule negotiations meetings appears to be an indication of ‘bad faith’ on the part of the Board and is unprecedented in our experience as union leaders.”
In past years the union contract is largely in place by now and put to the board and union members around the time of school board elections and the budget vote.
According to Daly, Mountanos “countered that there is no ‘bad faith’ on the part of the Board — that Board members are well aware of the looming deadline and have every intention of negotiating with the union with the goal of reaching an agreement with the union by the end of the current school year. various factors – switching law firms in February, a family emergency necessitating his absence from the office for several weeks, and the many competing priorities in the district (superintendent search, middle school minutes, employee disciplinary cases, etc.) — have all caused delays in getting our negotiations underway.”
Mountanos added that the Board recently spent several hours on a Sunday morning discussing negotiations and their priorities for bargaining. He also indicated that the Board had formed a “negotiations sub-committee” at his request to move the process forward. He believed that he would be able to begin scheduling negotiations meetings shortly after the return from Spring Break.
Resolution No. 19-332: Establishing The Appointment Of A Collective Bargaining Committee For The 2018-2019 School Year was adopted by the Board on April 2nd. The sub-committee is Jeffrey Hastie, Amy Moselhi, Rachel Relkin, Dr. Magda Parvey, Thom Ryan, Joe Williams, and Dr. Anthony Bongo.