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Ray Tanguay, Wolcott Tech AD, optimistic deal will get done to keep sports at school.

POSTED July 23, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Ever since Friday, July 15, when word came down from Hartford that without a union concession deal, Vocational Schools around Connecticut could experience major cut backs, Wolcott Tech Athletic Director Ray Tanguay has had a knot in his stomach.

The prospect of losing sports, arts and music programs at the states Tech schools has had this dedicated Wildcat AD, fielding call after call from worried parents and kids alike.

“It’s been gut wrenching,” Tanguay said, “Not knowing what was going to happen has been the worse.”

Late Friday, July 22, good news appeared to spread around the Capitol and the state, especially at the vocational schools which have had to suspend all sports training programs until a deal is ratified by the unions involved.

Governor Malloy put out a statement saying the two sides had reached a tentative agreement to cut almost 1.6 billion dollars over the next two years, pending a membership vote which may happen early next week.

Pardon out skepticism but we heard that with the National Football League players and owners just a day or two ago too.

Until the rank and file vote and the dust is allowed to clear, tensions are still high but at this point, things look a lot brighter than they did a week ago.

Events have been trending positive since the unions agreed to change their by-laws on Monday that would require just a simple majority to pass the concessions deal.

The last time around, 57 percent of the rank and file agreed to the deal proposed by the Malloy Administration but the threshold of total unions in agreement was not met.

Still, nothing has been undone in the scheduling, busing or training of the athletes who want to play sports at the Tech schools.

It’s just a question of letting this drama play out to it’s final act.

“We have been told by the assistant commissioner of our schools to anticipate an August 15, go-date,” Tanguay said, “It might happen earlier than that but we are just playing a waiting game.”

If the union had not come to terms with changing their by-laws on Monday, discussions would be mute at this point.
“We were done if they kept the by-laws the way they were,” Tanguay said, “After Monday, we knew we were still breathing.”

All the fall schedules are done and at this point, all Tanguay and his fellow AD’s around the State are waiting for is the ‘green light’ to go ahead and get rolling.

Of the fall sports, football is one that needs to start their conditioning by August 15 while the other sports simple have to get in the required 10 practices by the time the season starts which is around September 14.

A rally is planned at the Capitol on July 28 to allow concerned parents and student a chance to get their voices heard. Details should be forthcoming on the specifics soon.

“It has been a terrible couple of weeks for the kids and their parents,” Tanguay said, “I hope they can get it done so we can go back to doing what we need to do with our kids.”

Lots of fingers and legs are crossed all across the Tech school universe.

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