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School Committee Ratifies Teacher Contract

The Committee voted 4-1-2 to approve, with David Keele dissenting and Judy Culver abstaining due to a conflict of interest.

In a 4-1-2 vote Monday night, the proposed teachers' contract recently approved by the Westford Education Association was also ratified by the Westford School Committee, making the contract now official.

 "(This) allows us to move forward and get back to the business of educating kids,” said School Committee chairwoman Angela Harkness, who joined School Committee members Erica Kohl, Margaret Murray and Terence Ryan in voting to confirm the contract.

Harkness thanked the public and the classroom teachers for getting through the difficult year of contract negotiations. She asked the public for their continued support when discussing finances in the upcoming years.

Judy Culver abstained from voting due to her daughter’s job as a teacher in Westford. David Keele was the lone dissenting vote due to the addition of a third year to the contract, added so that the contract would be more palatable to teachers thereby breaking the stalemate.

“There’s tremendous economic uncertainty. Placing the third year component (in the contract) puts us in an unenviable position," argued Keele. "We are placing ourselves in a situation where we will be facing significant cuts. Because of that I will not support this contract."

School Committee member Arthur Benoit was not in attendance.

The contract was approved as negotiationes resumed following an earlier contract agreement that was not ratified by the teachers' union .

Andrew Sylvia July 12, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Okay....turning off auto-approve on this one too.
Alex Finnegan July 15, 2012 at 06:27 AM
"I have learned that answering idiotic questions lead to more idiotic questions. Olsen is a great Superintendent. A fact that is recognized by the only people that count, the Westford School Committee." My questions are very simple. I'm only asking you to reconcile your own statements. You said you would lower pay scales and hire young, energetic, competent people. You also say Olsen is a great SI & you would give him a raise. Why are you not going to lower Olsen's pay scale or just hire a new, young, energetic, competent SI? "I can assure you that my legal savy and integrity well above that of any licensed lawyer that you may know. " How do you define integrity? I would say taking someone's quotes out of context is the opposite of integrity wouldn't you? But look at how you quoted me here; "' Young = less experience. You are also marrying older and experienced with lazy and ineffective. I have seen that in my union experience, especially in government jobs.' - You are right over 20 years and teachers have lost touch with reality. Bring on the fresh troops." Now look at my actual quote; "I have seen that in my union experience, especially in government jobs. But it’s not true with all government jobs. It’s not true with teachers, it’s not true in the military."
Alex Finnegan July 15, 2012 at 07:15 AM
"You should stop changing the rules. At one point you state after a posting that was filled with misspellings, poor sentence structure and incorrect word use that you should not be judged on those items." It's about 17 comments up. What I said was let's not start the spelling/grammar war. I had never corrected someone's spelling or grammar on a forum in my life. You graciously corrected mine so I corrected yours to show you how futile it is. We all misspell words & make grammar mistakes. My rule is if you can interpret what the person is saying that's enough. Correcting people in that way just derails the conversation. Are we good on that now? "If you want to evaluate my abilities to cross-examine, commit a crime and I will be glad to cross-examine you"......
Alex Finnegan July 15, 2012 at 07:16 AM
There is no need we have a forum here. Aside from that what I said was that you respond poorly to C.E. So it would have to be you that commits the crime no? (is this the legal savvy you were talking about?) So in the chair you would plead the 5th. You won't answer the question about Olsen that I reiterated above. You also won't explain what legal penalties Culver would face by voting on the contract because her daughter is a Westford teacher. Everything she votes on affects her. YOU asserted she would face legal penalties. What penalties? Why on the contract but not other votes if the conflict of interest doesn't change. I just think if you can't back up your own statements, maybe just don't make them. I'll give you one more chance to answer the questions and then I'll drop them (without prejudice). Otherwise I've noticed the pattern, not necessarily from you, but some person will come on and start name calling etc and get the thread shut down & I don't want this to go there. But my interest in your answers is genuine...that's why I keep asking, so I figured I would give it one final shot. I respect your views but I also want to understand them and with those two points, I just don't.
Andrew Sylvia July 15, 2012 at 12:10 PM
This has also gotten out of control here. Comments are closed.

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