Barrington School Committee candidates on superintendent’s role in teacher negotiations

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The Barrington Times will be asking candidates for Town Council and School Committee a question every week leading up to the Nov. 6 election. Candidates have a 40 word limit for. Here is the second question for School Committee candidates:

In past years, the superintendent has played in a role in negotiating contracts with the local teachers’ union. The current agreement with the district’s teachers is set to expire next summer. Given that one of his family members is employed as a local teacher, do you believe superintendent Michael Messore should be involved with negotiations? Why or why not?

CHRIS RAMSDEN – “Supt. Messore has unquestioned integrity, yet I believe no sitting superintendent should partake in direct negotiations. The school committee and superintendent should set objectives. I recommend that a designated school committee member, Finance Director Tarro and expert legal counsel conduct negotiations.”

PATRICK GUIDA – “The school committee has issued ‘Request for Proposal’ to engage legal counsel to advise us in negotiations.  Superintendent’s role and any limitations thereon will be determined collectively by committee with superintendent and counsel and in the best interests of community.”

MEAGHAN RAMSDEN – “I believe that the contract negotiation should be handled by a member of the school committee, BPS’ Finance Director Tarro and legal counsel. While an esteemed and respected administrator, the superintendent should not participate in this negotiation.”

BOB SHEA – “The school committee has statutory responsibility for all contracts entered into by the school district and is solely accountable for endorsement of all such contracts. The committee should assemble the negotiating team most capable of reaching a mutually beneficial contract.”

PAULA DOMINGUEZ – “I believe the superintendent should be an ex-officio, non-voting participant. Responsibility for negotiations should reside with the elected officials who are held directly accountable for their decisions to Barrington taxpayers. I support a fresh look at the negotiation process.”

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