District and EPEA continue to disagree

Representatives of School District 9 and the Eagle Point Education Association held another marathon bargaining session Jan. 7-8, running from 4 p.m. Jan. 7 until 12:30 a.m. Jan. 8.
Once again, there was no settlement.

The two groups have been meeting with a mediator for several months. Under this plan, each group meets in a separate room with the mediator taking proposals and /or concerns back and forth. A mediator is called in only after joint bargaining fails to resolve issues. Last week, the district team asked permission and met with EPEA representatives to present yet another proposal. After the presentation, the teams went to their respective rooms. The district team said they waited five hours for a reply from the union.

Salary and benefits was the major issue.

District 9 presented a plan based on 5101.3 ADMw (average daily membership weighted,  which is additional compensation for various students including poverty, various disabilities and language issues) and total revenue for the ADMw. Dr. Dan Zaklan, director of D9 business services, said the weighted number has been rather consistent for four years.
For year 2009-10

Dr. Zaklan said the district is using several sources in an attempt to judge anticipated compensation for the upcoming budget, including the Oregon Department of Education, Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, and the governor’s proposed budget.

If the district receives $6,587 per student of funding all eligible employees would receive a step increase or longevity payment.

If the district receives $6,673 all eligible employees would receive that listed above and, in addition, the 08-09 salary scheduled would increase by 2% for 09-10.

If the district receives $6,708, all eligible employees would receive the two items listed above and an increase the district’s insurance contribution by $20 per employee per month or $930.

District data shows even after the $1.5 million that has already been cut, even at the $6,708 figure, the district would need to cut $867,000. Dr. Zaklan said teachers get 90 percent of the state school fund dollars that come to the school district.

This data continues to show a pattern for 2010-11.

The union responded in their Bargaining Update to their membership, saying they received “an extremely regressive proposal.”  The Update said the district gave the same compensation proposal (2% each of three years, $20 increase in insurance payment to the employee per year and steps) “with an ugly twist.”

“A second funding clause has the potential of reducing salary and benefits below your current levels,” said the Update. Dr. Zaklan said the union members asked that question during the negotiation session and the district replied “that is not the intent.” He said they had no plan to lower current salaries.

Before the Jan. 7 session ended, EPEA gave the district a counter “supposal in a significant attempt to settle.” That offer includes:

  • 3.65% salary increase in year one with $960 on insurance
  • CPI no less than 3% for 2nd year with $1,050 on insurance
  • Various language items

Negotiations will resume Jan. 15 at 9 a.m.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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