COLUMBIA — The Columbia School Board will vote Monday night on whether to approve a ballot that allows teachers to choose their representation during collective bargaining with the Columbia Public School District.
The board also will consider two proposed budget amendments and address the recent resignation of a school board member elected in April.
The district uses a "meet and confer" system in which two teachers associations — the Columbia Missouri State Teachers Association and the Columbia Missouri National Education Association — and unaffiliated teachers discuss salaries, benefits and other employment conditions.
Last year, teachers decided they wanted to have a more formal avenue of communication with the district. Policy HH, a plan to provide teachers with an exclusive representative, was then approved by the board in January.
At the Monday meeting, the board will decide to approve or not approve the ballot that allows teachers to choose their style of representation going forward.
On Oct. 11, teachers will vote for the Columbia Missouri National Education Association to represent them during collective bargaining or to continue with "meet and confer," district spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said.
According to a previous Missourian report, CMNEA President Susan McClintic said these types of groups help keep conversations between teachers and the district flowing, but Superintendent Chris Belcher said he worried having a centralized group representing teachers would not keep conversations about salaries and benefits open or inclusive.
Other agenda items the board is expected to vote on:
- The board will vote on two budget amendments. These are minor adjustments to the budget, Baumstark said. "These are typical things that happen at the beginning of the year," she said. The current 2012-13 operating budget is $167 million, which is $9 million more than the 2011-12 budget.
- The board will address the resignation of Columbia School Board member Paul Cushing. Cushing’s resignation will be effective Oct. 1. He is leaving to pursue a job in Minnesota.