Education Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Many deserve thanks for solid teachers’ contract

I would like to respond to the recent article by John Flowers on the conclusion of negotiations between ACEa teachers union and the ACSD school board. Mr. Flowers accurately and succinctly summarized the main points of the agreement and I would like to thank him for that. As the lead negotiator for the school board, I wanted to go further in thanking the people who made this agreement possible in this very tough economic climate.

First and foremost, the negotiators across the table, although tough and intelligent, were also eminently practical and professional. It was a pleasure to work with them to hammer out this agreement. My team members also deserve praise for their hard work and sacrifice in coming to understandings about very complex and difficult issues. The process could not have been completed — let alone achieve the elegance and fidelity to the interests on both sides of the table — without the skilled and thorough work of Matt Corrente, the district’s business manager, and many other central office staff. 

It is often said of a negotiation that when both sides are dissatisfied with the agreement, you have probably done it right. In this case, I believe that the exact opposite happened. Both sides felt that their concerns were heard by the other side and addressed with respect and empathy. I walked away from these negotiations feeling a great deal of respect for the teacher negotiating team and proud of the agreement we presented to the board for final adoption. Thank you to all the people I relied upon for help and thank you to the teacher negotiating team. Finally, thank you to the voters of the Addison Central School District who passed our budget and allowed us to compensate the fine teaching staff in our schools.

Steve Orzech

Lead Negotiator 

ACSD School Board

Middlebury

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