The Washington School Board is expected to vote on policies recognizing one or more unions to represent teachers and how that process would work at its meeting next week.

The board will hold its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. in the administration building.

Teacher negotiations have been an ongoing topic for several months, with proposed policies under review by the board and its attorney.

The policies would in part lay out the process for teachers to decide who would represent them.

Currently, there are no formal policies in place for collective bargaining. Each year representatives of two teacher groups, the Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) and Washington’s NEA, meet with administrators to discuss salary, benefits and other conditions of employment.

School officials maintain the process, which has been in place for a very long time, has worked well.

But, NEA representatives want to change that process and have informally indicated they would like to be the exclusive union at the bargaining table.

MSTA representatives have told the board and administration they would prefer to keep the process as is with multiple representatives. They also worry an election would divide teachers.

VanLeer said the district cannot choose sides and has been advised by its attorney to put policies in place defining the process and leave it up to the teachers to decide who will represent them.

Other Items

Other items on the agenda Wednesday include program evaluations on the guidance programs and Character Education program.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Judy Straatmann will give an update on curriculum.

The board also will discuss whether program evaluations should consist of both a written report and a presentation at the meeting, or just one or the other.

Action is expected on approving a vendor to install solar panels on some school buildings. Solar energy panels are being considered as an alternative source of renewable energy for the district.

A facilities update will be given by the district’s architect, Hoener Associates.

A summary of goals for the district’s 21st Century Learning Plan also will be presented by the superintendent.