NEO responds to allegations

NORWICH – The leaders of Norwich teacher’s union deny their actions violated, in any way, the letter of the law governing the prolonged contract negotiations between their organization and the Norwich City School District.

While the district’s administration and board stated they did not plan to take action against the union based on these allegations, the NEO’s leadership wants to clear the air.

“What was said at the meeting was misleading,” said NEO First Vice President Erika Kwasnik, of the Jan. 6 Board of Education meeting where Superintendent Gerard O’Sullivan read a letter from the district’s legal counsel, John Lynch.

According to Lynch, certain actions by the Norwich Educators Organization could be construed as improper practice on the part of the union, thus violating the Public Employee’s Fair Employment Act, also known as the Taylor Law.

The first of two instances identified by Lynch occurred at a Dec. 16 school board meeting. At the meeting, NEO President Dr. Bruce Race distributed a copy of a letter to the editor which had appeared earlier that week in The Evening Sun. The letter was written by high school teacher Dr. Ed Erickson, who, while not a union member, is covered by the NEO’s collective bargaining agreement. In it, he stated that teachers were prepared to stop voluntary participation in activities outside of the classroom.

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