A message from Pam Kramer, NSEA President

The NSEA was very disappointed that what should have been a moment of celebration — the approval of a contract that was a year in the making — was ruined by the thoughtless comments of one board member.

When a bargaining team enters into a tentative agreement, as the board did when agreeing to the contract that the NSEA ratified, all members of that team are required to support the agreement unless the other party is notified otherwise.

The NSEA was never notified that Mr. Cohn would not support ratification. By speaking out as he did, Mr. Cohn made it very clear that he is not a team player. If the rest of the board had chosen to follow Mr. Cohn’s irresponsible “no” vote, the NSEA would have filed unfair labor practice charges.

We worked very hard with all the board members to come to a fair agreement — one that meets the needs of the district and still is fair to teachers. It’s disappointing that one board member chose to express his personal displeasure in such a public manner, and in a manner which clearly was dismissive of the abilities of the rest of the board members to negotiate a contract.

Mr. Cohn also mentioned “lies,” “greed” and using “students as pawns.” It’s rather appalling that a board member would be so publicly disrespectful of the teachers who work in the district.

That being said, the NSEA is looking forward to a continuing successful relationship with not only the current administration but also with those board members who choose to collaborate with and listen to the teachers. The board as a whole has been supportive of teachers in the past, and we look forward to that in the future.