BREAKING:  May 11, 2012, 11:30 AM

Girard at Large has learned that, after extensive talks with Mayor Ted Gatsas and Superintendent Tom Brennan, the Association of Manchester Principals is preparing a counter offer to the city’s requested contract extension package.  AMP President Rick Norton was hopeful that Gatsas and Brennan would be available later today to receive the proposal.

Norton confirmed that the principals’ proposal contains the requested changes to the city’s health benefits program, but declined to speak to other specifics.  He did  say, however, that the proposal is designed to address their concerns about safety in the schools and noted the union’s belief that it would be compromised in light of the 9.5 principals facing layoff in the current budget proposal.

Norton, Brennan and Gatsas met on Friday June 1st and Thrusday June 7th.  On Tuesday June 5th and Friday June 8th, their sub committee on concessions met to discuss the details of their talks with the administration and finalize their proposals.

Norton strictly maintained confidence largely to get feedback from the union’s membership prior to presenting the proposal to the administration and to ensure that school officials received it from them through the proper process, not the press.

He acknowledged sending an email over the weekend requesting that members respond by the end of business today with their opinion as to whether or not the counter proposal should be presented to Gatsas and Brennan and any suggested changes.  With half the members having responded prior to speaking with Girard at Large, Norton said that the response had been favorable, though he stressed that getting the go ahead to present the proposal did not, in any way, constitute an endorsement of the proposal.

If accepted by  Gatsas and Brennan, the agreement would likely go to the School Board for a consensus vote, as their last tentative agreement did, and then on to the union’s membership for a ratification vote with ratification votes by the boards of school committee and mayor and aldermen to follow if approved by the union.

While he did not anticipate that Brennan and Gatsas would formally accept their counter offer later today, or at the time it was presented if not today, Norton was hopeful that the approval process could be set in motion this week.  Norton was also unsure whether the proposal would undergo any final revisions based on feedback from the union’s membership.

Stay tuned to Oh My BLOG! and Girard at Large for the latest updates on this situation as it unfolds.