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Taconic Hills opens up its grievance process

Jan 17, 2011 6:22 am
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Taconic Hills High School"][/caption]The Taconic Hills Board of Education will be holding a special meeting at 7 p.m. this Wednesday, January 19 for the sole purpose of hearing a grievance from the district's Faculty Association. The Register Star's John Mason reports today that Association President Kevin Reis said his entity had requested it be an open session, and he said as far as he knows, it’s the first time a grievance has been heard in open session. The grievance concerns the way the district is implementing a program known as Response to Intervention, which is replacing Academic Intervention Services, which Reis has called "less than they were under AIS." He did add, however, that he was glad that the board was establishing a legitimate board meeting to hear a grievance, because grievances such as this, that do not concern an individual or contract negotiations, should be heard in open session.

At the Dec. 22, 2010 meeting, New York State United Teachers representative Pamela Melville objected to the board’s intention to consider union grievances without the union being present and without providing adequate time for the union to prepare informational packets for board members. But, speaking during the public comment period, she was not allowed to complete her questions to the board. Later, board Vice-President George Lagonia told the Register-Star Melville is a counsel for the union, and the board wanted to have its own counsel present if she were going to speak.

“I have no issues with anyone making comments in open forum,” he added this week, in the Register Star. “I have an issue with the counsel for the union using the open forum as a stage to make a presentation about the union to the Board of Education. I think that’s inappropriate.” Melville, he said, had been asked numerous times to let the board know beforehand if she would be attending.

For a succinct summary of the recent brouhaha the Taconic Hills board had with its teachers union rep, check out The Columbia Paper's account here...
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