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West Liberty, OH

BL Board learns about elementary fundraiser, prospective union has strong presence (Audio included)

The Benjamin Logan Board of Education learned about a fundraising effort in the elementary school.

During Monday’s meeting, students from Amy McCormick’s third grade class highlighted a penny harvest that the grade level spearheaded. The entire building helped to raise $3,594.15. The third graders then interviewed a couple charitable organizations to find out what they would do with the money if they received some. The entire elementary then voted on suggestions provided by the third grade students. The money went to:

$1,100 - Second Harvest Food Bank

$1,100 - Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus

$800 - Union County Humane Society

$594.15 - The School Backpack Program - Middleburg United Methodist Church

The board approved a contract with Reliant Mechanical worth $98,525 to conduct the boiler replacement project. The project will bring the remainder of the district’s boiler system up-to-date and will be more energy efficient.

The board heard several testimonies from members of the prospective Benjamin Logan Classified Staff Union and from the Benjamin Logan Education Association. The prospective union members continued asking for recognition as a union. The education association member read a letter and cited numerous issues with the administration across the district about the treatment of employees and staff members.

Following the board meeting, Superintendent Dave Harmon addressed the topics of the prospective union and accusations. Harmon noted that last month, the board required each prospective union member to go through an election process. The prospective group has continually asked to meet with the board directly. Under legal counsel the board was advised that if it met with the group it would be considered an unfair labor practice. Harmon noted that the board does want to meet with its staff, however it does not want to commit an unfair labor practice at this time. He went on to add that the process of forming a union is a lengthy practice that goes through the state employment relations board. He also said that there is a set number of days between the steps of the process. Finally, each prospective member will be mailed a ballot to their home. It will take half of the returned ballots plus one percent to approve the formation of the union. There is no exact timetable for the completion of the process at this time.

In addressing the issues brought forth by the BLEA letter, Harmon expressed that he is disappointed with how the staff feels. He said he is always open to conversation. He noted we are not always going to agree but can disagree on a professional level. Harmon noted that sometimes every aspect of the story is not understood. He stated that he respects the staff and ended by saying he is behind the staff and wants to work to create the best school district.

Harmon comments on the meeting.

The board took time to recognize several athletes for their accomplishments over the past year:

Grant Ward - Football

Nikki Current - Basketball

Macy Arn - Swimming

Cole Houser - Wrestling

George Kern - Soccer

Madison Manns - Track & Field

Reese Wilcoxon - Track & Field

Girls' Bowling Team

Competition Cheer Team

Nicola Holdsworth was issued a one-year administrative contract to be the district's speech/language pathologist.

Diane Chamberlin was approved as an eight-hour custodian after serving the district as a four-hour custodian.

Christy Fout will be deemed as retired on May 1st under STRS rules.

The resignation of bus driver Nathan Hudgins was accepted from March 16th for further employment.

The Benjamin Logan Board of Education will meet again in regular session on May 21st at 7 pm.

We encourage open dialogue among people who may disagree. Difficult conversations must be had sometimes to make progress. If you disagree, please disagree respectfully. Cruelty will not be tolerated. This is a family friendly group.
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