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Help steer direction of local education, don’t sit on sidelines

Letters to the Editor

As a teacher beginning his 8th year in the district and a member of the CIEA bargaining team, I would like to add some “basic information” Carol Warden failed to mention in her letter to the editor two weeks ago [Aug. 15 issue].

First, as a member of the bargaining team, I have not seen Mrs. Warden at any of the bargaining meetings this year. Nor have I observed her at any recent board meetings. On what does she base her claims, given her failure to actually show up? She may paint a picture of a demanding, unruly mob, but I can attest that is not the case. I was there! It would be better for everyone if Carol could trouble herself to become involved and base her opinions on what is actually happening. I realize it may be easier and less time intensive to make things up and vent a personal animus, but that serves no good end.

Second, Carol may not realize that the CIEA is a grassroots organization that continuously seeks the input and guidance of the teachers and other staff as the bargaining committee engages in the difficult process of contract negotiations. Actually, she probably does know that given her many years of membership in the CIEA.

Overwhelmingly, the staff has expressed strong support of the team’s bargaining priorities and approach. Overwhelmingly, the staff disapproves of hiring an expensive and confrontational lawyer to negotiate for the district. Overwhelmingly, the teachers and bargaining committee value an open process that is rooted in the facts, allows for genuine dialogue, and is infused with a spirit compromise that balances all stakeholders’ needs.

Fellow community members, please do your civic duty. Show up for board meetings, be active in your children’s schools and communicate regularly with their teachers. Help steer the direction education takes in our communities. Don’t sit on the sidelines and yet feel emboldened to cast aspersions at those who are making the effort. Please get involved.

Joe Tosten

and the CIEA negotiating team: Char McKinney, Katrena Hauger, Cary Draper, Bernadette Edwards, Kaila Williams, Melanie Martinez and Vincent Martinez



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