BREAKING: Settlement Reached Between Superintendent and Teachers on Claremont Issue
Friday, May 11, 2012
Twenty five teachers at the beleaguered Level 3 school will keep their jobs and another 11 will be allowed to bid for jobs at other district schools under a settlement reached after almost 10 hours of negotiations, according to a press release from School Superintendent Dr. Melinda Boone and Education Association of Worcester teachers’ union President Leonard Zalauskas.
The agreement breaks an impasse in negotiations over the process used to determine staffing at the school and should spell an end to protests among union members, teachers and students who were outraged by Boone’s initial decision to require all Claremont teachers to reapply for their jobs.
“Both sides had to bend a little, but the final agreement allows the district to make changes in the school while preserving the principle that major changes in working conditions and personnel practices have to be negotiated with the union,” said Zalauskas. “Schools work best for students and teachers when differences are resolved through negotiation, as ultimately happened in this case.”
Boone, who has steadily maintained the need for a new course of direction in the education of students at Claremont, and who has been roundly criticized for the manner in which told teachers they would either have to reapply or risk displacement to other schools in the city, said: “The time is right for change at Claremont Academy. After more than 10 years of evaluations and reports, we are morally bound to cause immediate improvements for the students.”
Mayor Joseph Petty, who is also a School Committee member, said it was important for all sides to come together, saying: "I am pleased a settlement has been reached on the staffing and restructuring of Claremont Academy ... I have always understood the importance of bringing people together to resolve complex and difficult situations. We must always focus on ensuring the best possible education for the students of our district, and we must continue to support our teachers, who are the heart of our school system."
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