To the editor-

We again feel compelled to respond to Randolph Board of Education President Tammy McKay’s statement from the January 20th board meeting.  We are deeply disappointed that Mrs. McKay continues to willfully paint an inaccurate portrayal of the negotiations process and the REA’s role within it.   Mrs. McKay’s statement makes clear that the board of education is not interested in keeping discussions cordial, and it’s precisely the reason we declared impasse in November—not this month—and requested the services of a state-appointed mediator to assist with negotiations going forward.  In fact, Mrs. McKay acknowledged that declaration in her November 18th public statement. 

While it is true that we met again with the board’s negotiations team in December—despite declaring impasse the month prior—we quickly learned that our decision to move forward with a mediator was just.  The REA is not interested in escalating the situation and feels strongly that bringing in a neutral third party will serve to maintain a sense of decorum and fairness in the bargaining process.

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To that end, we’d like to echo Mrs. McKay’s words:  Negotiations must be a give and take.  The REA has and will continue to work in the best interests of its members, so if that means refusing a proposal that causes our members to give more than they get, then we are guilty as charged.  We simply ask the board to respect our position and to refrain from attempting to bully us back to the table by making erroneous accusations that only serve to create unnecessary drama and escalate an already difficult situation.  Instead, we call on the board—and Mrs. McKay—to allow this process to move through the proper channels. 

This letter is in response to:

Nick Lios                                                                      Doug North

REA co-president                                                   REA co-president