Tuesday, August 28, 2012
A strike by a local union halted the start of school in North Kingstown.
On what would have been North Kingstown's first day back to school, passerby saw picket signs instead of students and school buses outside of North Kingstown High School. Though parents and students were given a tentative warning of a potential strike from Superintendent Phil Auger on Sunday, the official cancellation of the first day of school wasn't sent out until 6:30 a.m. Tuesday – 45 minutes before the high school's start time. According to many parents, however, the notification came too late as several high school students were already heading to the bus stops. In some cases, students were already on the bus when they received word that school was cancelled. “This is about our kids,” said parent Kelly McPartlin. “My children are …
The North Kingstown School Department and Educational Support Professionals are heading to court this afternoon.
While North Kingstown students are getting another day of summer vacation, the school department and Educational Support Professionals union will be heading to court this afternoon to resolve a labor strike in protest of outsourced custodial services and contract negotiations. School officials filed an injuction Tuesday morning, asking a judge to force the 150 ESP employees back to work and reopen schools for the start of the new school year. A hearing has been scheduled for 2 p.m. in Washington Superior Court. The strike comes after both parties failed to reach an agreement regarding the union's contract – which has been under negotiations for the past year and a half. Earlier this summer, the North Kingstown School Committee rejected an …
Superintendent Auger explains why parents didn't find out until the last minute that school was cancelled.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Parents of the North Kingstown School Community, It is unfortunate that the NKESP and NEARI have decided to disrupt school in North Kingstown. The rhetoric, driven by the NEARI state organization, has been disrespectful, completely out of order, and much of it has been simply untrue. On Monday evening, members of the North Kingstown School Committee and I continued to bargain in good faith. We were committed to staying all night if need be, and we made significant concessions on every issue other than our decision to privatize custodial services. As for this issue, we feel that it is best to respectfully agree to disagree and handle the issue in court. Today’s decision to strike doesn’t make this difficult work any easier. Many have …
North Kingstown schools will not be open today due to a strike by the ESP union.
A labor union strike is halting the start of school in North Kingstown. In an email blast from the school superintendent, Dr. Phil Auger notified parents early this morning that the union – which had hinted at a strike over contract negotiations – was in fact going on strike the first day of the 2012-13 academic year. The strike is also in protest of the school committee's decision to outsource the school district's custodial services. The school department and the ESP union are still negotiating a contract, which has been ongoing for the past year and a half. Earlier this summer, the North Kingstown School Committee rejected an arbitrator's award and decided to outsource the district's custodial services. Twenty-six custodians were laid …
Thursday, July 12, 2012
RI Future's Bob Plain tackles the custodian issue in NK.
- On RI Future
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
North Kingstown custodians and support professionals were joined by numerous other unions across the state on Tuesday evening.
Hundreds of union members from North Kingstown and around the state joined a group of fired custodians to protest a decision by the North Kingstown School Committee to outsource the department. In a 5-1 vote last month, the committee fired its entire custodial staff (26 employees) pending privatization with an outside company – GCA Services. The decision came after an arbitrator's award for the district's support professionals (Education Support Professionals) did not offer enough in concessions. Committee members Melvoid Benson (the lone dissenting vote) and Bill Mudge (who walked out of the meeting prior to the vote) were present at Tuesday's protest. Members of ESP, NEA RI, AFL-CIO and other unions spoke against the decision before the …
Monday, July 9, 2012
NEARI and other unions will be protesting the North Kingstown School Committee's decision to outsource its janitorial services.
Union members from North Kingstown and across the state will be on Fairway Drive Tuesday night to protest the school committee's decision to outsource its custodial services. The rally will support the workers fired as a result of the decision. Last month, the North Kingstown School Committee laid off 26 custodians (pending privatization) and rejected an arbitrator's award for the district's support staff – represented by the Education Support Professionals union – to make up a nearly $600,000 gap in fiscal 2012's budget. Instead, the committee made unilateral changes to ESP employees, including the elimination of life insurance, reductions of days off, freezing pay, cutting benefits to employees who work less than 30 hours per work, and …
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Schools superintendent will present proposed budget cuts for next year at tonight's school committee meeting.
The North Kingstown School Committee got a glimpse of what the school system might look like next year after Superintendent Phil Auger presented $880,000 worth of proposed cuts at the committee’s Jan. 26 meeting. However, those proposed cuts only showed half the picture of the “best case scenario” — i.e. if the North Kingstown Town Council increases the school department’s budget to the maximum amount of four percent. (Click here for the full list of proposed cuts.) In addition to staff reductions (including the elimination of high school librarians and clerks, reorganization of the athletic director’s position, reduction of two sixth-grade teachers) and supply cuts, Auger recommends the removal of one bus from regular routes (netting $60…
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Voters shoot down budget referendum to increase school funds by $500,000.
North Kingstown voters shot down a budget referendum today that would have increased the school department's budget by $500,000. With only an 11 percent turnout today, 1,652 voters (77 percent) disapproved of the referendum while only 491 (23 percent) approved. The North Kingstown School Committee will meet again June 14 to discuss the schools' budget. For the past month, the committee has been working to close a $713,000 gap after the North Kingstown Town Council voted to level-fund the school department. The petition to increase the budget was put forth by Sandra Blankenship, president of the NK Educational Support Professionals.