School Board Sends Version Back to Committee

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COLUMBIA - At Columbia Public Schools Board Meeting Monday night, the board decided to send Version One of the collective bargaining process back to the policy committee.

"We can take a step back and rather than adopting one of two polices that stand, we can take the time to do this right and do it for Columbia, Missouri," School board member Jonathan Sessions said.

Version one, or the exclusive representation model, allows teachers to vote for one group to represent all teachers or for teachers not to be represented at all. That's according to the Missouri School Board Association. Version one is supported by the Columbia Missouri National Educators Association, or the CMNEA.

"We hope the board recognizes our constitutional right for exclusive representation and our opportunity to vote on it," CMNEA President Susan McClintic said.

Version Two, or the multiple representation model, is where teachers first get to decide whether they want exclusive or multiple representation. If teachers decided they want exclusive representation, then the district would vote on a group for representation.

"Some have expressed concern about having more than one teacher group at the table," CMSTA President Kari Schuster said. "Nothing could be more democratic."

Now, the school board can reconsider Version One, which had already been first read. They can take a look at Version Two. They can also try and implement a new version if both the CMSTA and CMNEA can agree on it.