Little Progress but More Meetings Coming
Greetings from your bargaining team,
First, we would like to thank all those who came out to watch the October 5 bargaining session as well as those who wrote letters to the School Board last week. Your team benefits from your presence and support.
Here is a short recap of events:
The district opened the meeting with a short financial presentation. The new RSD Chief Financial Officer, Anthony Lebron, showed us the program that the district is using to calculate expenses from their proposal, which included the district’s latest offering of a 9% raise over 3 years.
The district then presented on Article 26 C: Support Services. Their counter to REA’s proposal is to create wellness teams in each building. This proposal is not what was envisioned by your bargaining team. In Article 26 A and B, we have district-wide committees to help with continuity throughout the district as opposed to a piecemeal approach that causes confusion for parents, students, and staff alike. We want the same for REA social workers and counselors. A wellness committee in each building gives these educators nothing more than additional work.
Following their presentation on Article 26 A, the district introduced their latest offer on Article 27: Class Size. The district believes that our current contract language is good enough to meet the state’s newly created legislation. REA disagrees. We want the district to include options for programs, while the current article only addresses “guidelines” for general education classes.
Before heading off to caucus, the discussion turned to Article 22: Pay. Confusion in this article currently occurs because REA and RSD do not have the same process or final numbers for estimating the costs of various COLA increases. To manage this discrepancy over costing, we are having a sidebar (private small group meeting) to make sure we are all using the same numbers and math. That meeting is happening next week.
We still have Articles 23: Benefits and Article 25: Reduction in Force open, but held no discussions around them at this meeting.
RSD School Board member, Cayle Tern, joined the panel for the last part of the session after returning from caucuses. We are hopeful to get two more sessions scheduled, one for later in October and one in early November. The Bargaining Team is also planning on coming to your building to meet with members directly in the next few weeks. We are looking forward to hearing from as many members as possible as we continue to move forward.
Stay strong and thanks again for your support.
Your bargaining team,
Joyce Rosenau, Bruce Marsh, Brian Jay, Molly Frye and Bruce Scherer
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