School board passes
Last week, the Board of Education voted to distribute written notices to Berkeley High School teachers and counselors, advising them that students who ask about conscientious objection to war can get further information from the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, an Oakland group.
But the school board refused a request by the Peace and Justice Commission, a commission jointly appointed by the school board and City Council, to provide Central Committee literature at BHS, arguing that it did not have an opportunity to review the text.
Steve Freedkin, a member of the Peace and Justice Commission, said he was not troubled by the school board’s decision on the literature.
“My main concern is that students know there are counseling options available for conscientious objectors,” he said, arguing that BHS would be doing enough if it just notified pupils of the Central Committee’s existence and provided contact information.
School board approves union contract
The Board of Education voted unanimously last week to approve a union contract for the 2001-2002 year with the Public Employees Union, Local 1, which represents all classified staff in the school district.
Classified staff includes any employee, from bus driver to instructional aide, who is not a teacher or administrator.
The contract includes a 5.94 percent salary increase. “For the school district this year, that’s a very fair increase,” said Charles Egbert, general manager for the union.
School board Director John Selawsky agreed, and called for greater state and federal aid to boost salaries even further.
The new contract also calls for the district to confer with the union in developing each year’s school calendar. Egbert said the issue is an important one because many in Local 1 are paid by the day, unlike teachers and administrators who are on salary. Therefore, school vacation schedules affect union members’ incomes.
Egbert said negotiations were business-like, and Selawsky said they were conducted in “good faith.”
E-mail David Scharfenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org with school news for “Class Notes,”appearing every Thursday.