Surprised by state of negotiations in Pioneer school district 

Published: 9/21/2022 9:07:56 PM
Surprised by state of negotiations in Pioneer school district 

I was heartened to read of School Committee Chair Reina Dastous’s surprise at the teachers union protest with her understanding that “we were close to a resolution of the contract.”

Many of us on the other side of this negotiation are equally surprised that a deal is at hand. The union’s original 5% request hasn’t been treated as reasonable. It’s been treated as a threat to the fiduciary standing of the local tax base. There has been no good faith effort to balance the extraordinary work of the district’s professional staff and the academic excellence of its students within those fiscal constraints. Thanks to the School Committee’s hardball approach, the Pioneer Valley Regional School District is one of the lowest paying school districts in the commonwealth.

For too long the School Committee has managed its budget at the leadership level alone, without regard for the operational health of its school system. It’s gratifying to learn that Ms. Dastous is willing to begin the long overdue work of recognizing the integral role of district teaching staff in the vitality of the Pioneer School community. Thanks again for your spot-on reporting.

Marc Solomon

Hadley


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