October 7, 2020
Dear BFS Community,
The north star in every step and action that we take as a leadership body is and must always be our students, your children. On this night, that continues to be true. As leaders of our community, we recognize that our students are being significantly impacted by circumstances within and outside our community that should not be their burden. We are truly sorry that this has been the case.
We do not regret pursuing this option, which we believe was in the best interest of the entire BFS community, and while the convictions of our actions remain true and whole, in order to cease the negative impact on our students, families, and all colleagues who have been longing to return to our beloved school, we commit to withdrawing our petition filed with the NLRB asking for clarification of jurisdiction of the BFS Union, UAW Local 2110. The BFS Union members have agreed to not strike effective immediately. We regret that reaching a conclusion took until now and sincerely apologize for the late email, knowing how much pain and hardship this process has brought.
For several days, we have been earnestly working towards a positive resolution for all involved. Amidst discussions, BFS took the initiative to come to the table with a revised proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA/Union Contract) that would finalize the good faith contract negotiation process which began sixteen months ago. Rather than limit the focus of our negotiations to the withdrawal of the petition, we believed that finalizing a collective bargaining agreement that we have faithfully negotiated all along would bring us all to a place of healing and stability to move forward together.
This meaningful level of engagement is central to Quaker practice, and we were eager to continue our points of connection in this spirit. However, the UAW has declined acceptance of the proposed CBA, which would have brought this very challenging time to closure. As such, we will continue our consistent good faith bargaining in the weeks and months ahead.
We recognize how painful and tumultuous a time this has been for all in our community, and we acknowledge that much focus on healing must take place in the near and long term. We know that you have heard a consistent narrative throughout all of this that has been fueled by a range of voices in our community. Throughout it all, we have chosen to remain centered on leading with integrity, honesty, and courage rather than to join a divisive discourse. We also recognize that there are members of our community with valid concerns and questions about all that has unfolded. As such, we commit to scheduling a Community Forum in the near future where we can engage in an honest, respectful, and appropriate dialogue.
At the moment, all that matters is reopening our doors (virtual and physical) for our students. They need school and the care that it offers. They need closure and an opportunity for a renewed beginning. We will honor their needs and meet them.
School will reopen tomorrow, Thursday, October 8 with a regular schedule. If you do not receive this e-mail message on time, know that leadership members will be out front for extended time tomorrow morning in order to help your children upon their possible late arrival. On Friday, we will have a full day for all divisions (no half-day dismissal for PS-US).
“I expect to pass through this world but once. If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I will not pass this way again.”
Writing of an unnamed Quaker, as quoted in Scott’s Monthly Magazine, Vol. VII, June 1869)
In peace, and focused on healing,
Crissy and the Board of Trustees