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Hays-NEA, BOE near agreement

8/14/2014

By JUDY SHERARD

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

The Hays-NEA bargaining team used the district-wide gathering for the bargaining unit vote on the recently negotiated contract. The contract must be approved by a 51-percent majority to pass, said Kim Schneweis, co-chairwoman of the bargaining team.

Except for a few language changes and adopting the E4e evaluation tool, the contract is the same as last year, Schneweis said.

That includes a salary freeze.

The two sides didn't agree on adding a section outlining fair dismissal of teachers and requiring teachers to pay liquidated damages for late resignations.

Katt told the bargaining committee last week several items in the contract need work, and the two groups need to form committees to work on them.

If the teachers ratify the contract, it will go to the Hays USD 489 Board of Education for approval.

An investigation request filed by Kathy Rome, KNEA UniServ director, remains unresolved.

Rome filed the investigation request in September into an alleged violation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act by the board.

The request alleges the board violated the KOMA in offering a contract to then interim superintendent Dean Katt. Katt since has been named superintendent.

The filing was supported by a majority of the Hays-NEA officers and building representatives, Rome said.

"This has nothing to do with Mr. Katt at all," Rome told The Hays Daily News in December. "It's simply that we feel that our school board should follow the laws and follow the procedures as they should be."

The investigation "has not concluded yet," Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees said Tuesday.