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Mediation Upcoming for Teacher Contract Resolution

Wednesday, June, 29, 2016

South Washington County teachers and district negotiators will attempt mediation in an effort to resolve ongoing contract negotiations. More than 800 teachers from the district held a rally in support of their position ahead of a school boarding meeting recently. The group walked a half mile and wore red shirts to fill the boardroom and lobby as the board met.


Everyone was there to hear the negotiating team give the board an explanation of the tentative agreement reached between the United Teachers of South Washington County union and the county, but that agreement was rejected when it was put to a vote by union members. This was the first comprehensive public discussion of the tentative contract’s terms.


Now that talks between the district and union negotiators have failed, the groups will turn to a state mediator. They are currently trying to schedule a session for an upcoming date. A session was scheduled earlier in the spring, but was canceled when the tentative agreement was reached. That agreement included salary increases for the two upcoming contract years and compensation that equaled more than an eight percent increase over two years. The teachers rejected it based on the proposed change in how vacant teaching positions would be filled, which supposedly changed a policy that had been in place for at least 30 years.


The new procedure would include a first transfer round to fill an open position by using seniority. A second would open vacancies to displaced teachers, and if they are not filled by the end of the second round, all district teachers could apply to the position. Some people were excited about the change, but not enough to result in acceptance of the agreement because they do not want to deal with hiring intervals.