Contract bargaining between Jackson County School District 9 and the Eagle Point Education Association has reached an impasse.
EPEA, the union representing district teachers and support staff, declared impasse on Wednesday, March 28. Under state law, the two sides now have until April 4th to submit their final contract offers with estimated costs attached.
From that time on, there will be a 30 day cooling off period. After 20 days of the 30 day cooling off period, EPEA could give a 10 day notice of intent to strike. The district could implement its final contract offer after the 30-day period.
The impasse notice was signed by Daniel Burdis, a Uniserv consultant for EPEA, and addressed to Robert Nightingale, a conciliator with the state Employment Relations Board. The notice says in part, “As you know, the district ended mediation early yesterday, refused to set another mediation date, and the parties did not come to agreement.
“In addition, in accordance with state statute, more than 15 days have elapsed since the commencement of mediation. Finally, a round of surveys and individual discussions with our membership has informed us that over 90% of the membership want us to declare impasse if the district continued the takeaways and other proposals that would not meet our member’s needs.”
More about EPEA’s position is available at http://www.facebook.com/EaglePointEA.
The school district sent a message about the situation to employees and key communicators on March 29th. The district message says, in part, “Union leaders unfortunately made their decision before their members had time to study the district’s most recent contract offers, which included raising salaries and benefits by $1.4 million over three years. The district is already paying for $2.3 million in added PERS payments for employees over the term of this proposal due to current and projected rate increases.
“The union’s action is extremely disappointing, but not unexpected. For many months, the union leadership has urged the district to give unaffordable raises and insurance increases – and to offset them by cutting school days and laying off staff. We have not agreed to these proposals because they harm the quality of education and do nothing to provide long-term stability for our schools.”
More about the district’s position is available at http://www.eaglepnt.k12.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=3118.