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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Please move next board meeting, Pasco school employees union requests



United School Employees of Pasco president Kenny Blankenship anticipates a large number of his members attending the Pasco School Board's meeting Nov. 15. They want to talk about pay, benefits and other matters related to negotiations, which are set to resume Wednesday.

More than 100 are likely to come, Blankenship said.

Yet the School Board recently began more strictly enforcing the fire code maximum capacity in its meeting room. The maximum allowed is now 99 people. No standing along the walls permitted.

Blankenship has asked the board to consider moving to a larger space -- a bigger training room down the hall or, if that doesn't work, a larger room in Land O'Lakes High School across the parking lot.

He cited a 2008 Florida Attorney General's Opinion that states, "public boards and commissions should take reasonable steps to ensure that the facilities where the meeting will be held will accommodate the anticipated turnout."

Board chairwoman Joanne Hurley sent Blankenship a note saying she'd look into his question with the administration.

"I'm waiting to hear back from the School Board," Blankenship said. "It's their meeting."

One of the issues that could arise is the USEP's push to allow teachers to transfer jobs midyear, something superintendent Kurt Browning banned this fall. The USEP filed a class-action grievance against the new procedure, which was not negotiated.

Both Blankenship and employee relations director Kathy Scalise said the sides are close to a resolution on that issue, which could lead to a clearer understanding of times when teachers can move jobs without barring midyear transfers altogether.

[Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2016 3:02pm]


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