Ted Siefer's City Hall: Board may reverse course, seek full-time AD
Manchester's school board on Wednesday voted to pull the district's posting for a part-time athletics director and re-post it as a full-time job.
Superintendent Tom Brennan said the school board's Athletics Committee is scheduled to discuss the full-time/part-time matter when it meets on June 11. A new job posting will follow, based on what the committee decides.
But where will the money for a full-time salary come from at a time when the school board has been trying to hoard every last penny to hire more teachers?
There was another wrinkle in the discussion of the position Wednesday. Apparently Gosselin, aware that the district had its hands full in trying to fill leadership posts, offered to stay on.
"Talking to 'Goose,' he was limited in how much time he had to go to games. I think the right move is to make it go full-time," Wihby said.
ON WEDNESDAY, Ward 10 school board member John Avard, after emerging with his colleagues from a lengthy closed-door session, announced that a contract agreement had been reached with the district's paraprofessionals.
The agreement with the paras, as they're often referred to, is a big deal. It marks the first time district employees have agreed to ditch health care plans that many in the private sector might consider quite generous. In place of 7 percent employee premiums and $5 co-pays, the paras will get to choose among HMO-type plans with 15 to 20 percent premiums. The district estimates the agreement will result in $514,000 in savings over two years.
In voting for the contract Wednesday, the board flexed its muscles in a way it never has. In the past, negotiations with the district unions were handled directly by the mayor. Early in the school year, the board foreclosed this possibility by opting to form its own negotiating committee and hire legal counsel.
The contract, like all labor agreements, must be ratified by the aldermen, and it should be noted that in that chamber, the mayor, thanks to his veto power, wields more authority.
SUMMER is in the air, and in an election year that would typically mean it's time for elected officials to turn their attention to their campaigns. One senses, however, that between last minute budget revisions, the superintendent search and contract negotiations, the city's politicians will be kept plenty busy in the coming weeks.
Mayor Gatsas' takes place Thursday, June 6 at St. George's Cathedral on Hanover Street.
As per usual, Gatsas sees the event as a community gathering and celebration. There will be food, beverages and "a balloon person for the kids," he said.
Arnold said there will be more fundraisers to come. "It was a very successful and we're going to plan more like it," he said. "We're building momentum toward victory in the fall."
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