Mediation for Weston Schools and Teachers Union Starts This Week
Weston School Committee and the Weston Education Association teachers union, along with an appropriate number of legal advisors where “appropriate” is not going to be defined by me, begin a new journey this week on March 22 and March 23. Yes, it’s time for a state-assigned mediator to take a crack at healing our wounds.
School Committee declared an impasse in negotiations on December 14, 2022, and mediation was requested. After a fact-finding mission by the state found that there were grounds for mediation, a state-appointed mediator was approved and eventually assigned. You can read about the state process here in the Massachusetts General Laws. The mediation has been scheduled now for two dates this week, and further dates could be defined if the negotiation cannot be resolved this week. As a town resident and parent of two WHS students, I will say that I personally deeply hope that this can be resolved this week. The rift and emotions are big in town and that is just, as the owlets would say, a big bummer.
As for exactly how mediation is set up, only the mediator knows that. Is everyone in one room to chat? Are they in separate rooms and the mediator goes back and forth to present different ideas, offers, crumbcake? If I were the mediator, I’d set up the morning with one of those King of the Log things where each side gets a “bopper” and just whacks at each other for a little while. Works at Renaissance fairs, why not in Weston? Relax, folks, I’m kidding. Jousting would be way more fun.
There are about six other Massachusetts school districts currently in, approved for or seeking mediation. We are not alone. But we are unique. We are Weston. To all involved (and in the end, we are all involved as town residents, employees, parents, students), we are rooting for you to find the best solution possible.
You know that I now want a King of the Log at Spring Fling, right?