Follette says full CEA still plans to vote on tentative agreement Monday, prior to board meeting; if board doesn’t vote Monday, it ‘could be devastating,’ CEA statement reads

    When the Times contacted the Crookston Education Association’s lead negotiator Brian Follette last Friday to ask him why another negotiations session between the school board and CEA had been scheduled for Monday morning, June 9, when on Thursday both Follette and Superintendent Chris Bates had announced that a tentative contract agreement had been reached, Follette was unaware that a session had been scheduled for today, Monday.   

    After discussing the matter with school district administration and his CEA negotiating team, Follette contacted school board members and Bates via email, subsequent to learning about the session, that the CEA would not attend the Monday meeting.    

    Follette, at the start of Monday’s session in the school district office conference room at the high school, submitted to board members and Bates a paper version of the CEA’s statement, and then left.   

    The statement reads as follows:   

    “The Crookston Education Association (CEA) has become aware of a meeting called by the board scheuled for Monday morning on June 9. We were not initially notified of the meeting, its purpose, or that our presence was requested. We first found out about the gathering when the press called Brian Follette, asking him what the meeting was about. No one from the CEA was consulted prior to the scheduling of the meeting.   

    “At this point we are of the understanding that the meeting was called because the Tentative Agreement (TA), reached between the CEA and the Board, was in question and that our presence was needed to somehow impact the impact the Board’s issues with bringing the TA forward. We believe that this is a Board issue nad not ours to resolve. In other words, the Board needs to work this out internally and our presence at the meeting would be unwise at this time. Simply put, we have bargained in good faith and believe the TA needs to be brought forward by both parties.   

    “In addition, the CEA has learned that the Board has removed the ratification of the TA settling the 2013-2015 contract from the agenda for its June 9 meeting. Our intention at this time is to follow through with the process of ratifying that TA by taking it to our membership for ratification in time for the Board to still act on it Monday night. We trust the Board will follow through with their end of the process and do the same. The CEA was told by the Superintendent that we had a TA and believe that it should be brought forward. Not doing so could be devastating to all sides and we strongly urge the Board to honor the TA.”