The West Bend School Board and the West Bend Education Association, the union representing teachers in the district, have failed to negotiate a contract for the 2015-16 school year.
At Monday night’s School Board meeting, board members approved a contract for 2014-15, which, according to Valley Elliehausen, chief operating officer for the district, includes the distribution of $65,000 to the teaching staff. That amount, Elliehausen told the board, will be distributed as a flat dollar amount to members of the teachers union.
“That is in addition to the $750,000 the board approved for distribution through the new teacher compensation framework that you approved last fall,” Elliehausen told the board.
Elliehausen said the district negotiating team met with representatives of the union three times but failed to reach an agreement. It was declared the negotiations had reached an impasse.
The 2014-15 contract agreement with the $65,000 distribution is the district’s final offer. The board unanimously approved it.
The story goes on with some comments from the union communications person, Tanya Lohr, saying how disappointing she was with the deal and how they needed more money to attract and retain teachers. It echos what appears to be a concerted effort all over the state to advance the notion that there is a critical teacher shortage. While there does appear to be a national slump in available teachers as the Boomers begin to leave the workforce, there are still ample applicants for most teacher positions.
In other news, the school board took up the task of making the school district’s website easier to navigate and find stuff. That’s a good thing. I consider myself somewhat technologically adept and I have a difficult time finding things on their website. It’s good that they are taking a look at making it easier for the public to use.