Issues Concerning
the Extraordinary Consultative General Assembly

Tuesday, 26 February, starting at 19:30 at the Palais de Nations

 

  • Brief introduction
  • Governing Board Meeting (2002/03/04)  (NEW)
  • Coverage of the Assembly from the Tribune de Geneve 2002/02/28
  • Article from the Tribune de Geneve 2002/01/24
  • Article from the Tribune de Geneve 2002/01/29
  • Article from the Tribune de Geneve 2002/02/14
  • Remarks about the newspaper articles
  • Article published in AGEFI
  • Letter from the Federation of Staff Associations - International School of Geneva
  • Petition to convene an Extraordinary Consultative General Assembly
  • Governing Board chairman's announcement concerning the convening of the Extraordinary Consultative General Assembly
  • Interpretation of the Governing Board Statement
  • Communique from the Governing Board 2002/02/19
  • Director General's Newsletter
  • Excerpts from the previous collective contract.
  • Alumni Association Meeting - February 13, 2002
  •  

    Brief Introduction

    The following articles and notes have been compiled from many sources and are the sole responsibility of their original authors. Remarks shown without attribution were communicated in confidential correspondence.

    A request has been received for an English language summary of the newspaper articles. We are sorry but no additional requests for information will be honored beyond that which is presented below.

    All reasonable efforts will be made to update this page as new information becomes available. Please send all correspondence relating to this issue to: [email protected].

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    Governing Board Meeting (2002/03/04)

    The Governing Board of the International School of Geneva met in a special session to review the outcome of the Extraordinary Consultative General Assembly held on Tuesday evening, 26 February 2002.

    A number of fundamental and substantive issues surfaced during the ECGA that must be addressed by every adult in the Foundation - parents, teachers, school leaders and alumni - lest they further escalate to interfere with the most important element of the school - our students.

    Among the issues raised, two specific questions were put to the Board: first, the continued mandate of the Director-General and, second, the continued mandate of the current Governing Board. They are serious questions that the Board has carefully considered and that deserve clear and unambiguous answers.

    The Board reaffirmed the mandate of the Director-General, Dr. Donald Billingsley. Many of the objectives set for him by the Board address root causes of frustrations and concerns expressed at the ECGA and more time is needed for the initiatives he has launched to be fully effective. The Board noted with great interest an overview of plans outlined by the DG to address and resolve many of the most pressing issues within his scope of responsibility. Details of these will be communicated to Foundation staff as well as parents in the coming days.

    The Board also considered its position in light of the comments made at the ECGA. Its members remain committed to the Foundation and expressed their individual desire to work for its best interest. While many issues face the school, their resolution will not be facilitated by creating a leadership vacuum at the level of the Board. The Governing Board desires to remain responsive to the community at large which includes students, parents, alumni and staff members. More comprehensive background information regarding issues raised at the ECGA will be forthcoming presently, as well as communication regarding plans to address these issues in the very near future.

    Most importantly, the Board and Foundation Management are prepared to launch the ECIS accreditation self-study process and expect it to proceed to a successful conclusion. The teamwork and self-examination of the process should facilitate resolution of issues as well as ensure the school retains its excellent reputation in the world of international education.
    John Boggs
    Chairman - Governing Board
    International School of Geneva

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    Coverage of the Assembly from the Tribune de Geneve 2002/02/28

    Tribune de Geneve - www.tdg.ch

    L'Ecole Internationale a creve l'abces: la communaute desavoue la direction (28/02/2002)

    CRISE - Dans une atmosphere tendue, l'assemblee generale a cherche a retablir le dialogue.

    BERNARD FAVRE <[email protected]> photo Pascal Frautschi

    "L'Ecole Internationale ne souffre pas d'un malaise, mais d'un veritable cancer", s'est exclame mardi soir un enseignant. Pres de mille parents, enseignants, eleves et employes s'etaient reunis au Palais des Nations en assemblee generale consultative. Pour crever l'abces de la crise qui secoue l'institution depuis plus d'un an. Cinq heures de debats passionnes se sont terminees par un vote de defiance a l'attention des organes executifs.

    L'assemblee avait ete convoquee a la demande de 439 petitionnaires. "C'est une chance pour le Conseil de fondation", avait lance en debut de soiree MeJean-Louis Crochet, ancien procureur et membre demissionnaire du Conseil de fondation. Une chance d'entendre les preoccupations de nombreux parents d'eleves et enseignants. Leurs griefs: "Deterioration du climat de l'ecole, management financier defaillant, leadership autoritaire, mais incompetent."

    Conflits proceduriers

    A plusieurs reprises, les enseignants ont du protester pour qu'on leur accorde la parole. Il a fallu ainsi une demi-heure de ping-pong verbal pour adopter l'ordre du jour propose par les petitionnaires. Vers une heure du matin, le president du Board (Comite executif du Conseil de fondation) John Boggs, a meme interrompu l'assemblee avant qu'elle se prononce sur sa confiance aux organes executifs. "L'evaluation du directeur general appartient au Board, pas a l'assemblee", s'est justifie M.Boggs sous les sifflets.

    Malgre cela, quelque 396 personnes ont jete leur bulletin dans l'urne. Le resultat est cinglant: 319 votes contre la direction (80%), 39 pour (9,8%), 35 abstentions, 2 bulletins blancs et 1bulletin annule. Le depouillement s'est deroule sous la surveillance de trois membres du Conseil de fondation, de representants de tous les campus et de MeJean-Louis Crochet.

    Les petitionnaires esperaient pousser le Board et le directeur general a demissionner. "Vous avez tue l'esprit de l'ecole internationale. Vous n'etes pas dignes de la diriger. Allez-vous avoir la grande sagesse de demissionner?" L'ancien depute Jean-Pierre Gardiol n'a pas mache ses mots. A l'instar de nombreux autres parents d'eleves et enseignants, qui ont tance le Board et la direction pour leur "arrogance" et leur "mepris".

    Sanction levee

    L'assemblee n'a pas permis aux parties en presence de trouver un terrain d'entente. Pourtant, de nombreuses voix se sont elevees pour rappeler les fondements de la charte de l'Ecole Internationale, a savoir le respect de l'egalite dans la diversite. "Nous n'en serions pas la si les uns et les autres avaient fait preuve de respect mutuel", a constate Asha Sing Williams, ancienne presidente du Board. Avant d'appeler le Conseil de fondation, la direction, les parents et les enseignants a agir ensemble.

    Le directeur general Donald Billingsley est reste en retrait. Tres digne malgre les attaques frontales qu'il a subies, il n'a pourtant pas repondu sur le fond des reproches formules. Hier, malgre nos sollicitations, il n'a pas souhaite repondre a nos questions. Pas plus que M.Boggs. On a appris par ailleurs que la sanction a l'egard de l'enseignant R., delegue syndical, a ete levee. Une decision prise suite a la revelation par la Tribune que les accusations a l'egard de M.R. se fondaient sur un faux. "Une commission d'experts enquete sur ce faux. Si son auteur est retrouve, il y aura des sanctions", a declare Donald Billingsley.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Martine Brunschwig-Graf: "Le Conseil de fondation doit prendre acte"

    L'assemblee generale convoquee hier n'avait aucun pouvoir decisionnaire. Elle n'est qu'un organe consultatif, comme l'a repete le president John Boggs. Pourtant, on imagine difficilement que le Board, le Conseil de fondation et la direction generale puissent ignorer les reproches qui leur ont ete adresses. L'abces a ete creve, certes, mais la plaie reste profonde. Contactee hier par telephone, la presidente du Departement de l'instruction publique, Martine Brunschwig Graf, a estime que le Conseil de fondation et la direction devaient prendre acte des inquietudes de l'assemblee. Tout en precisant qu'elle n'a aucun pouvoir sur ce dossier, elle a rappele que l'Etat de Geneve etait tres preoccupe par la situation.

    Projet d'augmentationdes frais d'ecolage

    Le mecontentement gronde aussi aupres des parents et des eleves, qui se sentent pris en otage. "Notre futur est entre vos mains", a clame une etudiante au bord des larmes. "Nous exprimons notre grand respect pour nos enseignants, et nous les remercions de maintenir l'esprit de l'ecole, envers et contre tout."

    Donald Billingsley et le tresorier Philippe Holderbecke ont aussi essuye des salves sur le front des finances. "Est-il normal que les enseignants doivent payer eux-memes leurs photocopies, alors que la direction et le Board s'offrent des retraites dans des hotels luxueux?", a lance John Schumann, representant de la Federation des employes.

    Un argument qui a fait mouche, au moment ou le Board souhaite augmenter les frais d'ecolage de 1000 francs l'an prochain. Selon des sources autorisees, ce n'est d'ailleurs que la pointe de l'iceberg: la meme augmentation serait envisagee chaque annee pour les cinq ans a venir.

    v B.Fa

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    Article from the Tribune de Geneve 2002/01/24

    Menaces de greve a l'Ecole internationale (24/01/2002)

    POLEMIQUE - Trois cents employes protestent contre une sanction a l'egard d'un professeur.

    BERNARD FAVRE

    Photo Olivier Vogelsang

    Trois cents employes sur les quatre cent vingt que compte l'Ecole internationale menacent de faire greve. Par voie de petition, ils exigent que le directeur general, Donald Billingsley, retire immediatement et sans condition l'avertissement qu'il a inflige a l'un de ses enseignants, M.R. Une centaine de parents d'eleves se sont joints au mouvement et ont envoye des lettres de protestation a la direction generale et au conseil de fondation, organe suprjme de l'etablissement. Mais l'affaire de R. revele un malaise plus profond, qui date de l'arrivee du nouveau directeur general, le 1er janvier 2001. Ses methodes de gestion "a l'americaine", appreciees par certains, sont en effet loin de faire l'unanimite.

    L'avertissement est une sanction particulierement grave. Deux avertissements entrannent en effet le licenciement du collaborateur. Contrairement a ce que prevoit la convention collective de l'ecole, cette sanction a ete prise sans tentative de conciliation prealable. Et a la demande d'une doyenne, Mme H.

    "Nouvelle affaire Dreyfus"

    M. Billingsley ne formule aucun reproche sur les competences pedagogiques de M.R. "Il ne veut simplement pas accepter l'autorite de sa doyenne", explique le directeur. Celui-ci se dit surpris par l'ampleur que prend l'affaire: "M.R. est tres complique et tres malin. Il utilise ses collegues et les parents pour s'eriger en martyr et provoquer une nouvelle affaire Dreyfus." Tout le monde n'est pas de cet avis. "Nous avons ete choques par cette sanction. M.R. est un professeur exceptionnel", s'indigne une mere d'eleve, ancienne representante des parents de l'ecole. Elle poursuit: "Les reproches faits a M.R. ne sont que des pretextes. La direction veut l'evincer parce qu'il defend le personnel dans les negociations syndicales."

    Le directeur general, M.Billingsley, assure que cette sanction n'a rien a voir avec l'activite syndicale de M.R. Pourtant, les motifs officiels de sa sanction paraissent legers. Selon nos informations, M.R. aurait fait preuve d'agressivite envers ses collegues, pris conge sans autorisation et se serait rendu coupable d'insubordination. "Agressif, M.R.? C'est ridicule", commentent sobrement plusieurs collegues. "Et pour le conge, il a suivi les procedures prevues. Son absence etait due a un deces dans sa famille."

    Climat social deletere

    Le reproche d'insubordination, lui, a un rapport direct avec l'activite syndicale de M.R., qui lui a valu de se trouver en conflit ouvert avec le directeur general et la doyenne, Mme H. Des l'arrivee de cette derniere, en 1999, une vingtaine d'enseignants ont mandate M.R. pour defendre leurs interjts. Ils contestaient les methodes de gestion de la doyenne. En septembre 2001, des enseignants vont jusqu'a lancer une petition contre elle.

    Un mois plus tard, le conflit s'etend. Les enseignants se plaignent aupres du conseil de fondation de l'attitude desinvolte du directeur general lors d'une reunion du personnel. M. Billingsley souhaite en outre durcir la nouvelle convention collective pour reduire la protection contre le licenciement et supprimer certains avantages des collaborateurs. Enfin, en novembre 2001, la commission du personnel met en cause la gestion du directeur, M. Billingsley, aupres du conseil de fondation.

    A chaque etape, M.R. est au front en tant que representant du personnel. Pour la plupart des enseignants et des parents, l'affaire ne fait pas un pli: M.R. paie son engagement syndical. Frangoise Wallin, directrice du College Voltaire et representante du Conseil d'Etat au sein du conseil de fondation, se dit tres preoccupee par la situation. Sans se prononcer sur la sanction de M.R., elle explique: "J'ai alerte la presidente du departement, Mme Brunschwig Graf. Car il est vrai que le climat s'est deteriore depuis l'arrivee du nouveau directeur general."

    Pour sa part, Mme Brunschwig Graf precise qu'elle n'est pas impliquee dans la gestion de l'etablissement, mais souhaite que le conseil de fondation prenne ses responsabilites: "Du point de vue de l'Etat, il essentiel que cette ecole fonctionne bien, c'est le souhait autant des autorites que des organisations internationales."

    M. Billingsley a jusqu'au 27 janvier pour repondre a la petition. S'il refuse de retirer son avertissement, les 300 signataires pourraient se mettre en greve.

    © Tribune de Geneve: tel: +41 22 322 40 00 fax: +41 22 781 01 07 11, rue des Rois - CP 5115 - 1211 Geneve 11

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    Article from the Tribune de Geneve 2002/01/29

    Le directeur de l'Ecole internationale sur la sellette (29/01/2002)

    CRISE - Donald Billingsley avait deja quitte une ecole parisienne dans un climat houleux.

    BERNARD FAVRE [email protected]

    Vincent Calmel

    L'Ecole internationale est en crise. Le directeur general, Donald Billingsley, s'est engage dans un bras de fer sans precedent avec son personnel. La semaine derniere, 300 collaborateurs sur les 420 que compte l'ecole lui ont adresse une petition pour qu'il retire une sanction administrative a l'egard d'un enseignant, M.R. Mais ce n'est que la pointe de l'iceberg. Plusieurs enseignants denoncent des cas de mobbing. Et estiment que l'ecole a rompu avec ses ideaux democratiques et multiculturels, au profit d'une gestion autoritaire.

    Si le conflit perdure, le personnel passera aux actes. Contrairement a ce que differents temoins avaient indique (nos editions du 24 janvier), les profs n'envisagent pas une greve. Pas tout de suite. "Mais ce sera pire", avertit un prof. "Nous refuserons de participer a l'evaluation du Conseil europeen des ecoles internationales (ECIS)." Cette procedure est indispensable pour qu'une ecole reste credible au sein des autres ecoles internationales. "Une ecole serait tres mal vue si elle n'obtenait pas notre certification", estime Gerry Percy, responsable de l'accreditation pour ECIS.

    Management peu clair

    Cette procedure devrait se derouler cette annee. Et les choses sont mal parties. Un premier groupe d'enqueteurs a rendu son rapport preparatoire il y a quelques jours. Ce rapport met le doigt sur "differents secteurs dans lesquels l'ecole ne remplit pas les standards d'accreditation". En particulier, il evoque un "malaise" au sein du personnel. Les rapporteurs ont remarque qu'il "n'existe par une relation de travail cooperative entre les cadres ou entre certains cadres et certains membres du personnel. Les rF4les respectifs du directeur general, des directeurs de campus, des doyens n'est pas clair pour tous, ce qui conduit a des tensions".

    Et pour cause: des son entree en fonction, M.Billingsley a cree quatre nouveaux postes de directeurs, a mi-chemin entre la direction generale et les doyens des trois campus. Ces nouveaux directeurs ont obtenu des competences qui, auparavant, etaient l'apanage des doyens. Les trois doyens de la Grande-Boissiere s'en etaient alors plaints a deux reprises par courrier au Conseil de fondation, qui a refuse d'entrer en matiere. Pour toute reponse, M.Billingsley a trouve un arrangement avec deux d'entre eux, a qui il a rendu leurs prerogatives. Le troisieme est actuellement en conge maladie. On parle de harcelement psychologique. Hasard ou pas, ce doyen se trouve etre l'un des defenseurs du personnel dans le conflit qui l'oppose a la direction generale, en dehors des questions syndicales.

    Nonchalence imprudente

    Il y a pire. Au terme de leur visite, les enqueteurs de l'ECIS avaient fixe un rendez-vous a M.Billingsley. "Malheureusement, le directeur general ne nous a pas rencontres", regrette le rapport.

    De plus en plus de voix s'elevent pour denoncer les methodes de gestion de M.Billingsley. Pourtant, l'Ecole internationale aurait pu s'y attendre. Donald Billingsley avait dirige jusqu'en juin 2000 l'Ecole americaine a Paris. Il a du quitter cet etablissement dans un climat particulierement houleux, selon plusieurs sources. "Son contrat n'a pas ete renouvele, d'un commun accord entre l'ecole et M.Billingsley", commente sobrement la direction. Qui s'etonne toutefois que l'ecole internationale n'ait pas cherche a la contacter avant d'engager M.Billingsley. Ce dernier conteste: "Je ne peux pas dire que c'etait houleux. Je suis reste d'ailleurs plus longtemps que prevu a cette ecole." Sur les autres points, MBillingsley ne fait aucun commentaire.

    La direction generale et le conseil de fondation ont rencontre hier la direction du Departement de l'instruction publique. Une rencontre agendee depuis longtemps. Rien n'a filtre sur le contenu de ces entretiens.

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    Article from the Tribune de Geneve 2002/02/14

    Ecolint: la sanction contre un professeur se fonde sur un faux (14/02/2002)

    MOBBING - Le professeur R., averti en decembre dernier, fait l'objet d'un complot.

    BERNARD FAVRE photo Vincent Calmel

    "Il y a quelque chose de pourri au royaume du Danemark." Ce diagnostic de Hamlet s'applique aussi a l'Ecole internationale de Geneve, ou le climat se deteriore de jour en jour. Le 18 decembre 2001, M.R., enseignant primaire et representant du personnel dans les negociations avec la direction generale, recevait un avertissement. La sanction avait provoque un tolle general (nos editions du 24 janvier). On apprend aujourd'hui qu'elle se fonde sur des accusations sans preuve reelle. Pire: quelqu'un a meme signe un faux pour accabler M.R.

    Ce faux, c'est une note tres critique sur M.R., retrouvee dans son dossier personnel. "Ce document dresse un portrait injuste de ce professeur. Il apporte de l'eau au moulin de ceux qui veulent sa peau", s'indigne un parent d'eleve. La note porte la signature de MmeMaccaud, ancienne directrice de l'ecole primaire des Marronniers.

    Un faux grossier

    MmeMaccaud dirige actuellement l'Ecole internationale de Monaco. Confrontee a ce document, elle a reagi avec "stupefaction". "Je certifie sur l'honneur que cette signature n'est pas la mienne, et encore plus grave, que je n'ai pas ecrit cette lettre", affirme-t-elle dans un courrier adresse a l'avocat de l'enseignant. Le faux est d'ailleurs grossier. La date, 24 mai 1988, a ete rajoutee a la main.

    MmeMaccaud ne nie pas qu'elle ait eu quelques frictions avec M.R. au debut des annees 80. Dans un autre courrier, adresse a une mere d'eleve, elle precise toutefois avoir developpe avec M.R. une relation "veritablement professionnelle basee sur le respect mutuel" et qu'il n'a pas economise son energie et son temps pour la soutenir dans ses projets.

    On ignore encore qui est l'auteur de ce faux. Toujours est-il qu'il tombait a point nomme pour charger le dossier que la directrice actuelle, MmeH., a dresse l'automne dernier contre M.R. C'est elle qui a prie le directeur general, Donald Billingsley, de sanctionner l'enseignant.

    Les parents incites a se plaindre

    M.Billingsley formule quatre reproches a l'encontre de M.R. pour justifier son avertissement: "Une attitude agressive envers des collegues, un conge special pris sans accord prealable, des cas d'insubordination, et un manque d'ouverture aux problemes souleves par des eleves et leurs parents."

    Chacun de ces reproches parait fort critiquable. Le 12 decembre, une vingtaine de collegues de M.R. ont signe une declaration commune niant toute agressivite de sa part. Quant au conge special, on sait que M.R. avait du s'absenter en raison du deces d'un de ses proches.

    Les plaintes de parents sont l'aspect le plus etonnant. La classe de M.R. compte 24 eleves. Les parents de 21 d'entre eux ont signe une lettre de soutien a M.R. L'un des trois parents mecontents n'est autre que le directeur general, Donald Billingsley. Une autre mere d'eleve nous a aussi contacte, indignee: "M.R. fait des dictees par dictaphone et oblige nos enfants a voir des scenes de nu." L'enseignant donne en effet des cours d'eveil a l'histoire de l'art. Les toiles du Caravage ou de Michel-Ange ont visiblement garde tout leur pouvoir subversif!

    Mais il y a pire. Cette mere a ecrit a l'ecole pour se plaindre de M.R. Selon ses dires, confirmes par M.Billingsley, elle l'a fait a la demande de la directrice, MmeH. Or, cette lettre a ete determinante dans l'attribution de l'avertissement.

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    Remarks about the newspaper articles

    from contibutor A:
    I'm not sure that I want to reply to the whole network concerning the current disputes at the school which obviously reflect a low level of morale and also very delicate personnel matters. It is also standard procedure for the TdG to use only letters rather than full names.

    However to satisfy you R is [...] a classroom teacher [...]; who has been at the School for at least about 15 years. Not only is he a gifted teacher in my opinion and that of many others, but is also an absolute genius when it comes to using information technology with the younger students. Mme H is [...], the doyenne of that section. The TdG article gives a fairly accurate review if the situation, to which I personally cannot add much not being on the campus that often. Let's hope that good sense will prevail, [...]

    Remarks about the newspaper articles from contributor B.

    For those of us on the ground here , the press articles have been somewhat slanted , as you might have guessed.

    seems the teachers - or some pockets are having diofficulty with moving toward where most of the western world are - namely to be appraised regularly against set program objectives and to follow a set curriculum- amazingly the teachers are even threatening not to cooperate with the forthcoming accreditation process - a bit short sighted .... DB is having to deal alot which has been left cozily undisturbed for too long , largely he seems to be progressing , but the 'village press' are only hearing one side of the story so far .

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    Article published in AGEFI

    Highly complimentary article about the teacher who was the victim of the Director General's action. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader® 5.0)

  • Agefi-Christophe-Roux.pdf

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    Letter from the Federation of Staff Associations - International School of Geneva

    February 6th. 2002

    Dear Parents, Dear Colleagues,

    In recent weeks we have all been confronted with sufficient evidence to realise that our school is already in crisis and that a catastrophe is in the making. But where does the responsibility lie ? Is the crisis the result of the actions of a militant staff determined to undermine the school authorities ? Is it the result of a Governing Board that is unrepresentative, secretive and unaccountable ? Does the responsibility lie with the management and in particular the Director-General ?

    These are questions that must be answered because, if the question of who is responsible seems unclear, it must be evident to all that the immediate victim is the reputation of the school and the ultimate victims are the students.

    Parents and colleagues alike have recently received letters from the management expressing a particular point of view and criticising, openly or implicitly, certain individuals and groups. The Federation has no intention of entering into a debate by correspondence. Members of the school community will now be aware that an Extraordinary Consultative General Assembly is to be held on the 26th. February. The Federation asks that parents, colleagues, and all those for whom the interests of the International School of Geneva are important attend this assembly.

    It must be the forum in which all of the issues are raised, in which debate is facilitated and not constrained by the procedures and, above all, where proposals are voted by the Assembly. Only a massive attendance by staff and parents can provide this Assembly (consultative) with the authority it needs to move the school forward from crisis to resolution.

    On behalf of the Staff of the Foundation,

    John Schumann
    President of the Staff Association
    Co-ordinator of the Federation

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    Petition to convene an Extraordinary Consultative General Assembly

    Chers amis,
    Comme vous le savez, le 11 décembre dernier, une pétition émanant d'un groupe de personnes concernées par certains disfonctionnements graves des organes de la Fondation a été adressée au Président du Conseil de Fondation. Pour que cette pétition puisse prendre effet il fallait réunir plus de 250 signatures et constituer un Comité chargé de demander la convocation de cette Assemblée en proposant un projet d'ordre du jour. Ces deux conditions ont été remplies ce matin. Le Comité m'a demandé de signer cette pétion en leur nom. J'ai accepté de prendre cette responsabilité en mon âme et conscience, après avoir longuement discuté hier matin avec Jeremy sur la question de l'Ecole primaire.

    Hélène Durand Balivet member of the Alumni Association Central Committee

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    Governing Board chairman's announcement concerning the convening of the Extraordinary Consultative General Assembly

    The Governing Board of the International School of Geneva met in a special session on Monday, 4 February 2002.

    The Director-General reported significant accomplishments on two issues of particular interest. First, the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) Accreditation Committee has formally granted candidate status to the ISG for the ECIS Re-Accreditation, confirming that the school is on track for the renewal of our ECIS accreditation. Second, the substantive negotiations on the Collective Agreement (CCT) have been successfully concluded. The work remaining prior to final signature relates to finalising detailed annex materials in line with broad agreements reached by the staff and management negotiating teams as well as final translation of all contract provisions into both English and French.

    The Board discussed the many allegations and rumours swirling around the community and directed the Foundation Management to continue to honour the current CCT and to continue to discharge its responsibilities for staff supervision as detailed in the Foundation Charter and Regulations.

    The Board shares the deep and profound concern expressed by many members of the school community - staff, parents and alumni - regarding the negative comments and unfounded press reports that are circulating regarding the school. These are distracting all of us from the central educational mission of the school and are damaging to the reputation of the school, a result that is not in the best interests of anyone. The Board endorsed a proposal from the Director General to join in a series of consultations and meetings across the Foundation to further improve communication between all groups in the school, to address longstanding concerns that are at the root of the current unrest and to build trust concerning the continued application of the central principles of the Foundation as stated in its Charter.

    Further information on this effort will be provided by the Director-General in a mailing to all parents to be sent prior to the February holiday. Input from the community on this initiative will be sought at the Extraordinary Consultative General Assembly called for Tuesday, 26 February, starting at 1930 at the Palais de Nations.

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    Interpretation of the Governing Board Statement

    (Board's statement in italics)

      The Director-General reported significant accomplishments on two issues of particular interest.

    Oh good, glad to hear that the team are accomplished and have been working hard on the foundation's behalf promoting international eduction.

      First, the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) Accreditation Committee has formally granted candidate status to the ISG for the ECIS Re-Accreditation, confirming that the school is on track for the renewal of our ECIS accreditation.

    The school has been allowed to apply to keep its membership of ECIS accreditation under the new rules. So as one of the leading lights in international education, key founder in the development of the international baccalaureate, a history of more than 75 years and of course exisiting membership and we are allowed to apply for accreditation. Well done team. I hope the form isn't too onerous. With the new senior management appointments this should be a doddle. I'm truly impressed.

      Second, the substantive negotiations on the Collective Agreement (CCT) have been successfully concluded. The work remaining prior to final signature relates to finalising detailed annex materials in line with broad agreements reached by the staff and management negotiating teams as well as final translation of all contract provisions into both English and French.

    I see we are under a new DG and once again the previous 20 years of the foundation, the existing charter, the contracts and the school's structure are being reinvented. Funny that as it happens in cycles coincident with each new DG appointment. The contracts need to be legal, in line with existing contracts and the charter and in line with local employment practise and of course none of these things were ever in place before. Funny how this seems so familiar. Oh and translation into French... a significant proportion of the Foundation's team work in French....no surprises there then.

      The Board discussed the many allegations and rumours swirling around the community and directed the Foundation Management to continue to honour the current CCT and to continue to discharge its responsibilities for staffsupervision as detailed in the Foundation Charter and Regulations.

    We are acutely embarassed at the accurate press reporting of our current attempts to impose new working conditions and management structure on our staff.

    We have now read all the relevant clauses in the exisiting tried and tested charter and decided that many of the proposed changes may not in fact be either possible or in line with previous legally binding contracts or regulations of our loyal and committed staff.

      The Board shares the deep and profound concern expressed by many membersof the school community - staff, parents and alumni - regarding the negative comments and unfounded press reports that are circulating regarding the school.

    We have been made to look pretty bad and we have had to slightly moderate some of our more trenchant changes in line with hopes and aspirations of our staff to have existing contracts and the school's charter honoured. We have reached a compromise.

    These are distracting all of us from the central educational mission of the school and are damaging to the reputation of the school, a result that is not in the best interests of anyone.

    We don't like our machinations in the public domain.

      The Board endorsed a proposal from the Director General to join in a series of consultations and meetings across the Foundation to further improve communication between all groups in the school, to address longstanding concerns that are at the root of the current unrest and to build trust concerning the continued application of the central principles of the Foundation as stated in its Charter.

    We realise that we will now need to negociate properly and honour the Foundation's existing charter and will be open in our discussions as we should have been from the outset.

    Jon Warner alumnus

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    Communique from the Governing Board 2002/02/19

    The Governing Board of the International School of Geneva met on Tuesday, 19 February 2002 with resource requirements and financial issues dominating the agenda for the evening. Attending the meeting as observers were CDG Chairs, Danny Konikoff from LGB and Wendy Bennett Powell from La Chat, as well as the Staff Observers, Luc Hamzavi and Philip Wingate.

    The Treasurer, Philippe Holderbeke, reported that the financial results for the current academic year continue to improve from the projected 1 million Swiss franc deficit forecasted at the start of the school year to a current projection of a 551,000 Swiss franc deficit. This amount represents approximately 0.8 percent of the total 66 million Swiss franc operating budget.

    The Governing Board approved the Annual Capital Expenditure plans for calendar year 2002 that totals 857,142 Swiss francs. These funds are used to purchase teaching equipment including classroom computers, laboratory instruments and audio/visual aids but are not used for building projects or maintenance work. The proposals were developed and reviewed at campus level and were recommended for adoption by the Foundation Financial Committee (which includes both Governing Board Members and CDG representatives). While the global amount is comparable to 2001, expenditures on the individual campuses are up by approximately 10% as a consequence of reductions in funding for administration and Foundation-wide projects.

    The Operating Budget and associated Financial Conditions for the coming academic year, 2002-2003, were also reviewed and approved as developed by the school management and recommended by the Financial Committee. Budgeted revenues are 69,521,000 Swiss francs and expenses are 69,446,000 francs resulting in a projected surplus of 55,000 francs. Key areas of cost increase are approximately 2,000,000 francs in anticipated pay increases for staff related to step progression, cost of living adjustment and a general 1.2 % salary increase. These amounts are projected based on the substantive agreement reached in negotiations on a new Collective Agreement (CCT) for the staff. An increase in salary expense of 950,000 francs is for additional teaching staff and 350,000 francs is an allowance budgeted for expenses of the visiting ECIS accreditation team. As the total number of students enrolled is budgeted to remain essentially unchanged, the additional costs will be funded by a tuition increase of 1,000 Swiss francs per student. Transportation and cafeteria fees will remain unchanged.

    More detailed information on the budget and associated tuition fee increases will be provided in the next few days. Additionally, an open meeting devoted exclusively to financial issues will be called in the next few weeks to furnish in-depth explanations, to provide benchmark comparisons against other schools and to answer questions that will arise.

    The Board reviewed plans for the Extraordinary Consultative General Assembly to be held on Tuesday, 26 February, starting at 1930 at the Palais de Nations. All members of the community are invited to attend and participate in this evening. We anticipate a lively but ultimately very useful exchange of views which we hope will contribute positively to a greater understanding of the needs of the International School of Geneva for all members of the school community. The opinions expresssed will help guide the Board and the Foundation Management going forward into the future.

    sincerely,
    John Boggs
    Chairman - Governing Board
    International School of Geneva

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    Director General's Newsletter

    (Requires Microsoft Internet Explorer)

    DG Newsletter 25 Jan 02 Francais.doc
    DG Newsletter 25 Jan 02 Anglais.doc
    DG Newsletter 30 Jan 02 Francais.doc
    DG Newsletter 30 Jan 02.doc
    DG Newsletter 6 Feb 2002 Anglais.doc
    DG Newsletter 6 Feb 02 Francais.doc

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    Excerpts from the previous collective contract.

    (Requires Microsoft Internet Explorer)

    article10.doc
    article19.doc
    article21.doc
    article29.doc
    article39.doc
    article53.doc
    article54.doc
    annex.doc

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    Alumni Association Meeting - Wednesday February 13, 2002

    The monthly meeting of the Alumni Association of the Foundation of the International School of Geneva was held on Tuesday, February 13, 2002 at 19:30 in the Ancienne villa de l'Administration, (chemin de la Chevillarde, 2eme etage.) at La Grande-Boissiere. These meetings are normally held on the second Wednesday of each month.

    Eligible members of the Alumni Association include former students of the International School, former teachers and staff, and former members of the Foundation's Board of Governors.

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    2002-02-25 by: [email protected]

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