Quincy Public Schools and Union Working with Federal Mediator
Saturday, December, 24, 2016
The Quincy Public School District and the QPS teachers’ union are headed to mediation in an attempt to negotiate a new contract for teachers and other school staff. Both parties recently met with federal mediator Theresa Phillips from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in early November and additional meetings are planned for the end of the month.
Quincy Schools Superintendent Roy Webb stated that adding a mediator to the ongoing negotiations is a normal part of the process. The union, Quincy Federation of Teachers and Educational Support Personnel, represents 850 teachers, paraprofessionals, food service employees, custodians, secretaries, and transportation employees.
Webb stated he’s not yet worried and called the negotiations “… still respectful.” He said both sides are still looking at ideas and nobody has yet to threaten they are walking away from negotiations.
The sticking point in negotiations, as it is in most teachers’ union contract talks, is benefits and salary. A spokesperson for the union said there has been very little movement thus far in the negotiations. Meetings so far have offered limited results, especially since an early November meeting was cut short because many in attendance were involved in the Quincy High School musical and a meeting of the Boundary Advisory Task Force.
Upcoming meetings are expected to last longer and will bring together unions that were formerly separate, as well as school secretaries who have union representation for the first time. All will now be under one contract, which leaves a lot to discuss and consider. Those familiar with the negotiations point out the time was right for the merger, but it leaves a lot more to be determined in contract negotiations proceedings