Norwich’s Board of Ed debates observing negotiations

NORWICH – The Norwich City School Board had every intention of discussing the proposal to have board members act as observers in contract negotiations between the district and the Norwich Educators Association, but they did not intend to vote on the subject at last week’s meeting.

The item appeared on the agenda for the Oct. 7 meeting as a discussion topic and members of the board were prepared.

Perry Owen presented a list of proposed guidelines for the process that had been assembled with the input of the other six members of the board. The intention was to hand these guidelines over to the policy committee at Tuesday’s meeting.

Board President Bob Patterson reported he attended a New York State School Board Association seminar and had identified four other districts in the state with established written policies. He had even requested copies of those policies for Norwich to use in drawing up their own.

But board members Sally Chirlin and Priscilla Johnson had other ideas. Rather than follow the steps they had agreed to during the Sept. 19 meeting, they decided to push for a vote to allow observation to take place with little or no established guidelines, beginning with the next scheduled negotiation session.

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