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Oct. 3: Facebook group plans community forum to discuss teachers’ contract negotiations

The Facebook group “Chelsea Residents in the Know” has planned a community forum regarding the teacher’s contract on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at Beach Middle School beginning at 7 p.m.

According to a press release, Chelsea Education Association President Rick Catherman and CEA members have accepted the invitation.

“I’m happy to speak to our community members,” Catherman said in the press release. “The Chelsea community is unlike any other I’ve seen.”

“They are engaged, supportive, and informed stakeholders in educating the children in our community. It’s always a pleasure to get an opportunity to get our message out to those who pay taxes to help make the Chelsea School District the very best it can be,”  he said in the press release.

Chelsea Superintendent of Schools Julie Helber issued the following statement to the invitation.

“Thank you for the invitation to attend the community forum. As you are aware the parties are currently in mediation and fact finding has been requested. We are also coordinating schedules for a meeting with the mediator within the next two weeks,” she wrote.

“Since we are working through the processes established by the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, it would not be advisable to circumvent these processes.

Accordingly, we will not be attending the community forum,” the statement reads.

“The Board of Education is desirous of reaching an agreement with the CEA and I believe our latest proposal to make our teachers either the highest or among the highest paid teachers in Washtenaw County is evidence of the Board’s desire to reach a fair and equitable settlement.”

As a reminder to readers, here is the story about the impasse between the two sides.

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