Hudson school administration, Hudson Education Association agree to roll over contract

Current contract extended one year due to pandemic

APRIL HELMS Reporter

HUDSON – The members of the Hudson Education Association will operate under its current contract through June 30, 2021.

The Hudson school board unanimously agreed to roll over the contract for one year; the current one had been due to end June 30.

Superintendent Phil Herman said that the district’s administration and the HEA were in talks regarding a new contract when the school buildings were ordered closed by the state due to the pandemic.

“The meetings could not continue,” Herman said. “Also, with the pandemic, there is an uncertainty with our finances. Now is not a time to enter a long-term agreement. I’m glad we are considering a contract that will extend stability for them. I’m never more proud of our teaching staff than the way they responded this past spring. They put students first, they dug in.”

The initial contract was approved in 2017 for three years, and included a provision for a 2% base pay cost of living increase each year of the contract based on performance.

In addition, both the HEA and the school board also approved a separate memorandum of understanding that officials said will allow for greater flexibility in dealing with challenges brought on by the pandemic. The memorandum will allow “the parties seek to modify certain terms in the collective bargaining agreement in order to maintain flexibility for the 2020-2021 school year,” according to the memorandum.

“During the 2020-2021 school year, the parties acknowledge that the COVID-19 epidemic likely will impact the school year in unprecedented ways, such that the parties must be able to quickly respond and adapt to the changing needs of the district as a whole in order to continue to support students’ academic and social-emotional progress during these uncertain times,” states the memorandum.

“These certainly are extraordinary times,” said Board President Dave Zuro. “All of our staff has put in an incredible effort. This was a situation none of us had anticipated, and there has been a lot of creativity and effort teachers put into the process. During the senior parade, I saw a lot of signs on cars that said ‘thank you teachers.’”

Resolution condemns racism

The school board also approved a resolution expressing its condemnation of racism. The resolution was spurred “by the recent senseless and tragic deaths throughout our nation that have resulted from racism.”

Many communities throughout the nation have seen protests over the recent deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Taylor, from Kentucky, was shot and killed by police who entered her apartment on a drug raid. Floyd died after a police officer kneeled on his neck, an incident caught on video.

The next school board meeting is June 29, and will be conducted remotely.

April Helms can be reached at ahelms@recordpub.com.