RSU 71 teacher issues resolved

By Carolyn Zachary | May 17, 2019

Belfast — A "meet and consult" session Wednesday has resolved differences between the Regional School Unit 71 Education Association and the RSU 71 board and superintendent.

Education Association President Sonya Verney said she emailed members this morning about the outcome. She told The Republican Journal she is "very pleased with the meet and consult; our contract issues have been resolved."

Board of Directors Chairwoman Caitlin Hills told The Journal, "... the situation that the association took umbrage to no longer exists."

The May 15 meeting had been scheduled prior to the RSU 71 board meeting Monday night, at which teachers and staff appeared wearing Red for Ed T-shirts and carrying red signs that read "Follow the Contract" and "Support Your Teachers."

Present at the "meet and consult" Wednesday were Hills, Superintendent Mary Alice McLean, the RSU 71 attorney, Verney and two vice presidents from the RSU 71 Education Association, and two representatives of the Maine Education Association.

Issues concerning two proposed involuntary transfers, which Varney said Monday had not followed contracted processes, now are moot, according to Hills.

"The proposed transfer of one is not happening," she said today. The other, Erin Ireland, who teaches fifth grade at East Belfast School, has resigned to accept a position as principal of Easton Elementary School in Aroostook County.

Both Verney on Monday and Hills today acknowledged that the transfers were proposed in conjunction with shifting class sizes, and the superintendent in such cases has the right to transfer to maintain state funding related to class size.

Hills said it was her position, and the board's, that neither the board nor Superintendent Mary Alice McLean was violating the contract.

 

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