School Board Discusses Collective Bargaining

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education met Monday night and discussed new parameters for the collective bargaining plan for next year.

Last year was the first year Columbia teachers had exclusive bargaining rights to negotiate pay, hours, and working conditions.

The board decided last year that only one of two associations would have rights to sit and negotiate. 

"I do hope that the board would come up with a more collaborative approach and not just having an exclusive representative," Columbia Missouri State Teacher's Association president Kari Schuster said. "Having multiple representatives and having everybody at the bargaining table would be more beneficial."

One parameter the board focused on was whether negotiations should be open or closed to the public. Every board member spoke and each said they would like those negotiations open. No action or vote was taken at the meeting, though.

Another issue the board discussed was the April 2014 bond proposal. The $50 million bond focuses on projects around the district including the construction of a new elementary school, a new early childhood development center, and getting rid of trailers.

$41 million of the $50 million will be used for the aforementioned projects.

The board's next meeting is scheduled for December 9.