PUBLIC STATEMENT OF ANESU BARGAINING COUNCIL REGARDING LETTER FROM JOHN JEFFERIES DATED MARCH 9, 2017, THAT BARGAINING COUNCIL RECEIVED ON MARCH 16, 2017
Representatives of the governing boards of the member districts of the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union, together with representatives of the Addison Northeast Education Association who represent teachers and education support personnel, are currently negotiating successor collective bargaining agreements for the agreements that will expire on June 30, 2017. In preparation for these negotiations, representatives participated in four (4) Alternative Bargaining training sessions conducted by Cynthia Jeffries, a commissioner with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
At the conclusion of this training, Board and Association representatives decided to conduct this round of contract negotiations using a collaborative model referred to as Critical Issue Bargaining (“CIB”). Given the parties’ lack of experience with CIB, they also agreed to have Commissioner Jeffries mediate all of their direct discussions with each other. Commissioner Jeffries has explained that to facilitate contract negotiations as a mediator, she would need to meet with the parties without other persons present so that her communications with the parties could be kept confidential.
On the evening of December 13, 2016, the parties met with Commissioner Jeffries to discuss ground rules for conducting negotiations. The meeting with Commissioner Jeffries occurred in executive session, with the public excluded. Prior to holding the executive session, the Bargaining Council Chair explained the mediation process that the parties were using for negotiations and Commissioner Jeffries’ role in the process.
The Bargaining Council entered executive session on December 13, 2016, without first making the specific finding required by 1 V.S.A. section 313(a)(1) that premature general public knowledge would clearly place the Bargaining Council at a substantial disadvantage. The absence of this finding in the motion to enter executive session could be viewed as a violation of the Open Meeting Law. The Bargaining Council mistakenly considered the above-mentioned explanation by the Council Chair to be sufficient to fulfill the requirements of the Open Meeting Law.
After ending the executive session, the Bargaining Council considered and approved a motion to adopt the ground rules for the negotiations. To address
.the potential non-compliance of the motion to hold an executive session on December 13, 2016, the Bargaining Council, at a meeting held within 14 days, will ratify the Bargaining Council’s adoption of the ground rules for negotiations with the Addison Northeast Education Association and will confirm that, prior to holding an executive session to consider contracts, labor relations agreements with employees, arbitration and/or mediation, the Council must make a specific finding that premature general public knowledge would clearly place the Bargaining Council or a person involved at a substantial disadvantage.
We are not prepared to acknowledge that negotiations that have occurred between Addison Northeast Education Association representatives and a gathering of less than a quorum of the Bargaining Council were in violation of the Open Meeting Law.
However, at a meeting held within 14 days, the Bargaining Council will announce a list of dates when any such negotiation sessions took place and its decision to refrain from holding any negotiation sessions between Addison Northeast Education Association representatives and a gathering of less than a quorum of the Bargaining Council unless and until a Vermont court rules that such negotiation sessions are not in violation of the Open Meeting Law.
Please direct any questions regarding this statement to Patrick Reen, Superintendent, Addison Northeast Supervisory Union.
The Mt Abraham Board is currently looking for a community member to represent the 5 Town community on the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center Board. The commitment to this position is currently attending the monthly Board meeting (2nd of the month). It is possible, if you join additional Board committees, that you would attend more meetings. If you are interested in being appointed to this position, please email Dawn Griswold (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Mt Abraham Board would like to appoint a community member at their next meeting (3/28), if possible.
Please join us on Thursday, February 16 at 6PM at Mt. Abraham in the Large Cafeteria to formally open the new ANESD Unified School District! There will be a brief ceremony, a short meeting, and cake and beverages to celebrate this historic event!
Click this link for Invitation to Org Meeting 2017-02-16 (1).pdf
Over the past several weeks we have been making progress in our strategic plan development. Most notable is the development of a vision for ANESU, Shaping Our Future Together! Use the links below to learn more about the strategic plan development thus far including next steps, the vision, mission and Ends as well as ways to get involved in the strategic planning process.
The Mt Abraham School Board shall form a Renovation Committee and charge the committee to determine facility needs and shape a potential bond measure to go before the 5 Town voters in the 2017-2018 School Year. The Committee shall research, draft, present, and work with the Board or any other ANESU capital improvement committee to implement a facility renovation/building plan for Mt. Abraham High School, including a time table for a bond vote and construction. The committee will gather information and community feedback to present a proposed bond project recommendation to the ANESU Superintendent, who will in turn use the proposal to inform his recommendation to the Mt Abraham Middle/High School Board and/or ANESD Board for final approval. The recommendation shall include a time table for a bond vote and construction. The Committee shall submit its plan to the Superintendent of Schools no later than August 1, 2017.
The committee shall take into consideration all factors necessary to ensure: (a) Mt Abraham has the resources to meet its Education goals for students (see ENDS policy), (b) the total cost and tax impact of a potential bond is financially viable for the 5 Town voters given the current economic climate, (c) safety and efficient maintenance of the facility and infrastructure needs meet state and/or ANESU expectations. The committee shall consist of no more than 11 members, comprising of Board Members and ANESD members, Staff, Students and Community members. A Board Member shall be appointed the chair of this Committee. The Superintendent of Schools, Mt Abraham Principal, ANESU Chief Financial Officer, and ANESU Facilities Director shall be ex-officio – non-voting members of the committee. Members of the committee will be chosen by an application process, in which letters of interest shall be submitted to the Mt Abraham Chair, Dawn Griswold email@example.com , no later than February 17, 2017. The entire committee shall be appointed by the Board Chair as soon as practicable but no later than the February 28, 2017.
Addison Northeast Supervisory Union
72 Munsill Avenue, Building 6, Suite 601, Bristol, VT 05443
Phone: (802) 453-3657 ~ www.anesu.org ~ Fax: (802) 453-2029
MT. ABRAHAM UNION MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL ~ BRISTOL ~ LINCOLN ~ MONKTON ~ NEW HAVEN ~ STARKSBORO
Hello ANESU Families,
I hope your summer was filled with a lot of great family time! I also hope you and your children had a chance to recharge and get ready for what is promising to be an outstanding 2016-2017 school year!
I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to return to work in ANESU since leaving my sixth grade classroom at Bristol Elementary School eight years ago. I know, and have always known, ANESU does amazing things for its students and I am thrilled to return home to take part in the great work happening in my own community.
It has been a steep learning curve for me so far. I am rapidly learning more and more about the scope of work before me as a superintendent. While my responsibilities may be vast, I believe my primary role is to support principals and teachers as they work to improve the lives of children in our schools. After all, that is the reason we, as an organization, exist.
I am routinely impressed by the hardworking individuals within ANESU. To focus all of this hard work we need to come together as a five-town community to create greater clarity around the purpose and direction for our school system. In order to achieve this I will be working with various stakeholders to develop a process to bring our five-town community together to articulate a vision for ANESU. A common vision will assist students, staff and community members in developing a strategic plan with specific action steps needed to realize our vision. With clarity of purpose and specific action steps we can be confident our hard work is focused on getting us where we want to be.
These are exciting times in ANESU! I encourage you all to take advantage of opportunities to help shape the future of our schools. I look forward to working with you!
Patrick J. Reen
Superintendent of Schools