Coincidence or Cause? SK Teachers Union Returns to Table When Binding Arbitration is Taken Off It
Let’s not allow this little turn of events to go unnoticed as we transition from the crazy last days of the legislative session to a lovely, hazy summer.
South Kingstown’s teacher contract expires in August; accordingly, the School Committee and the NEA-SK have been working on a contract renewal. When binding arbitration got cranked up towards the end of the GA’s 2011, however, and there was a distinct possibility it was going to get passed, the union cancelled three meetings with the School Committee.
We need to pause here to note that one of South Kingstown’s legislators – Senator Sue Sosnowski – took the opportunity to helpfully point out how this turn of events demonstrated the “need” for binding arbitration.
“We have a disaster in town, and I was hoping we’d have something like this that would help the situation.”
Sosnowski is referring to a dispute over the South Kingstown teachers contract, which expires Aug. 30.
That’s interesting because no South Kingstown official agrees with her that binding arbitration would “help the situation”. In fact, both the Town Council and the School Committee, along with most (all?) other councils and committees around the state, signed resolutions in opposition to its passage.
Fortunately, they, rather than the senator from District 37, got their way when the House refused to follow the Senate over the cliff. Binding arbitration was dead, at least for this session.
And lo and behold, the NEA-SK has returned to the bargaining table.
Causation or curious timing? We report; you decide.