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Contract Negotiations Update #26

UNITED TEACHERS OF NORTHPORT
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On behalf of the Negotiation Team, I would like to thank the membership for participating in the ratification vote held today. As you are well aware, the Negotiations Team is obligated, under the Taylor Law, to bring to the membership a memorandum of agreement for their approval at such a time as deemed appropriate. Make no mistake, we completely acknowledge that what was presented to the membership at large in the form of the MOA dated and signed January 10, 2012 was a tough deal. It was tough for the team to accept and even tougher to deliver to the membership. However, we chose to move the agreement forward at this time to assure that the rank and file would have the opportunity to express their views and decide if it were, in fact, best for the membership.

Today’s vote sent a clear message that the UTN membership continues to feel disrespected by the current Board of Education and Administration. The MOA was defeated by an overwhelming 2 to 1 margin. It is once again evident that the UTN membership feels demoralized and demeaned. Loss of multiple steps, minimal increases to the Teacher and Nurse salary schedules, as well as a lack of any true increase to the Teaching Assistants’ salary schedule were some of the complaints expressed to the UTN leadership.

While the UTN Negotiation Team fully intends to return to the bargaining table, we do not expect a change in the Board’s stance until such a time that the Board itself has changed and has new members willing to sit at the negotiations table and take control of negotiations for the district! We will immediately be convening the Action Team to plan for the election of School Board Trustees. To that end, we do not
expect a respectful deal until such a time that we replace everyone on the other side of the table.

We anticipate that Board Counsel will encourage the Board to move this negotiation to factfinding. Please be reminded that factfinding is not binding on either party.

We respectfully request that the FULL MEMBERSHIP participate in BLACK OUT THURSDAY by wearing complete black to school as a show of mourning for the loss of respect we all now suffer. Also please plan to attend the next meeting of the Board of Education on Monday, February 6th. The Action Team will be meeting shortly to further develop plans and will disseminate information regarding
mobilization and escalation in the days and weeks ahead.

It is time to take back our schools!

In unity,

Antoinette

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