I would like to respond to Mr. Cockayne’s letter regarding contract negotiations with Bristol’s cafeteria workers. He begins: “As you may be witnessing the Republican members of the Bristol Board of Education have been taking a beating publicly for your recent vote on the contract for the Cafeteria workers.” In my experience, beatings have been plentiful and bipartisan.
Mr. Cockayne continues by asserting “It is also my understanding that there was information regarding this contract withheld from you prior to the vote that you received while in Executive Session. I also understand were [sic] unaware of this information prior to the vote.” My fellow commissioners and I had ample information and time to question and discuss this information prior to voting. I do not serve on the Personnel Committee but I felt fully informed at all times. The Personnel Committee, which conducts negotiations, is composed of both Democrat and Republican members. Who is Mr. Cockayne suggesting withheld information?
Union negotiations are a sensitive and private issue. Chris Wilson understands that and has refrained from commenting on them publicly in any material way. He could be making political hay of this process but instead chooses to honor his agreement with the bargaining unit. That’s what makes Chris a leader; he makes the right decision rather than the personally or politically expedient one.