Barrington School Committee selects a legal firm for teacher negotiations

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The Barrington School Committee selected the firm of Brennan, Recupero, Cascione, Scungio and McAllister Tuesday night to serve as its legal counsel for upcoming negotiations with the district’s teachers’ union.

The firm was among three to bid for the job. Each firm was interviewed by the school committee in executive session weeks prior to Thursday night’s vote.

School committee member Kate Brody motioned approval of the firm. Ms. Brody said the firm has “substantial” experience with educational law and collective bargaining. She also said the firm doesn’t operate with a specific negotiating style. Instead, Ms. Brody said, it adapts to the needs and requirements of its district.

In Barrington, Ms. Brody said one aspect of negotiations will be the district’s “long-standing”  working relationship with its teachers. Ms. Brody said it is a relationship built on mutual respect, which is a “fundamental component” of the negotiation process and the district’s “culture of excellence.”

Ms. Brody said the district is committed to working collaboratively and productively with teachers.

“It would be inappropriate to infer that because we have a change in the process that there would be a change in the tenor of negotiations,” Ms. Brody said.

School committee chairman Bob Shea agreed with Ms. Brody’s sentiments. He also praised the firm’s “flexibility,” especially since the district has not yet finalized the composition of its negotiation team.

School superintendent Michael Messore, who has a family member employed as a district teacher, has recused himself from the negotiation process.

The nomination was approved unanimously. The teachers’ union’s current contract expires next summer.

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