Teachers union votes no confidence in district superintendent

The teachers’ union and Central Kitsap school officials have been fighting with their gloves on.

Politely, but intensely.

After the latest sit-down meeting Wednesday, a truce may be in the works.

Unhappy with the management styles of Central Kitsap School District Superintendent Catherine Davidson and personnel administrator, Assistant Superintendent Scott Menard, the Central Kitsap Education Association (CKEA) — the local teachers’ union — slapped a vote of “No confidence” on both administrators May 6.

Wednesday, May 8, at the board’s regular weekly meeting, union reps and CKSD administrators/board members had a two-hour, closed-door, sit-down discussion.

No decision was reached, indicated board President Robert VanDenburgh — though he did say “It was a good conversation.”

Union President Cheryl Brown and Vice President Kathy LeTourneau both spoke on other issues later that evening. Relationships between the union reps and the board seemed cordial.

In an interview Thursday, Brown explained the no-confidence vote and was cautiously optimistic.

“The membership of the CKEA has been experiencing a diminishing voice in decision making and have concerns with the lack of due process for teachers when they are accused of wrongdoing,” she said, adding the union is not calling for resignations, only cooperation.

Four hundred and ten of the union’s 775 members attended the May 6 union meeting. Sixty-eight percent voted no confidence in Superintendent Davidson and 99 percent voted no confidence in Menard.

At Wednesday’s meeting, “We believe the board and administration were listening,” Brown said Thursday. “I’m confident their answer will be yes and that they will want to work with us to improve the working environment for teachers.”

The union hopes an answer will be forthcoming from the board by its May 22 meeting.

Davidson declined to comment on what had been discussed Wednesday, but said “Central Kitsap Schools has a rich history of working collaborately ... and I’m confident we will resolve this.”

The teachers are in the first year of a three-year contract.

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