School board to look at collective bargaining policies, vote on budget amendments

Monday, September 12, 2011 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 2:21 p.m. CDT, Monday, September 12, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Columbia School Board will begin reviewing policies Monday that will determine the method in which public school teachers and employees will be able to negotiate the terms of their contracts.

The board will take an initial look at the proposals as a group. All of the board members have seen the policies, but Michelle Baumstark, the district’s spokewoman, said Monday will be a time for the board to "fully understand all the different elements and what they mean for everyone.”

The board will be presented with two policies. The first will allow for one organization to negotiate the terms of employees’ contracts.

The second policy would allow for two organizations to represent teachers and other employees in the negotiating process. The Columbia Missouri National Education Association and the Columbia Missouri State Teachers Association are two options for collective bargaining organizations, according to board's meeting agenda.

The teachers can also vote against the policies and not have any representation at all.

In 2007, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that state employees have the right to bargain collectively. Since then, school districts across the state have been trying to determine the policy that best serves its educational community.

The district will make its decision and vote on a policy in October.

Other items the board will vote on at Monday's meeting:

  • The name of the new educational facility on Rain Forest Parkway — the administration recommends the board approve “Early Childhood Discovery Center" as the facility's name
  • Which bank will finance the Rain Forest Parkway building and the new administration addition 
  • Whether or not to approve eight tennis courts being built at Battle High School
  • 2011-12 budget amendments

The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the district’s administration building at 1818 W. Worley St.

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