From the agenda for Monday’s school board meeting:
Recommended ActionI move to declare negotiations with the WBEA for 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 at impasse, and to implement the District’s final proposal for both years.
According to the law, if the two parties can’t agree, the school board can declare the negotiations at an impasse. This then allows the board to impose their last best offer.
What I find odd is the timing. When the School Board held the annual meeting less than three weeks ago, they specifically noted that they had not yet begun negotiations with the union. It was a point of contention because the proposed budget had about a million dollars in compensation increases, but no information on how that money was to be allocated.
Now, less than three week later, the board has conducted exhaustive negotiations for last year’s and this year’s compensation plans to the point that they are at an impasse? It strikes me that either the negotiating team at the district has a hair trigger at declaring an impasse, which would be unfair to teachers, or that this is a predetermined tactic because the school district is giving the teachers everything they want anyway. By declaring an impasse, the union can continue the fiction of victimhood.
Or I suppose a third scenario could be that the district was already conducting negotiations at the time of the annual meeting and simply lied about it. I don’t think that’s likely.
The Annual Meeting was 9/17 and the first exchange of proposals was 9/18. No meetings noticed since then. Ten minutes reserved on the agenda for this topic. Unfortunately, won’t be able to watch this being streamed live online. For several months now the City and/or School District has been unable to resolve whatever “technical issue” is preventing live streaming.