Archive for Thursday, May 10, 2007

Teachers are still without new contract

May 10, 2007

A surprise meeting was called this week for contract negotiations with Baldwin School District teachers, but no action was taken after Monday's meeting.

After 90 minutes in executive session Monday night, the Baldwin School Board adjourned its meeting with no decision on the negotiated agreement.

"We met to talk about negotiations between the board and the teachers," Board President Alison Bauer said. "I can't say much more, but it is good for us to have that time to focus just on negotiations."

BHS math teacher and head negotiator Mike Curran said the district staff asked the board to have a meeting, so the negotiations could possibly end before Tuesday. That is when teachers must inform the district if they will not be returning next year.

"We wanted the board to review our offer in time for us to meet again, so that maybe we could get a salary schedule negotiated or agreed to before the May 15 deadline," Curran said. "That is when teachers have to notify the board that they are leaving the district. That's essentially why we asked the board to have a meeting."

The negotiating staff members are working on next year's salary schedule before this year's contract has even been worked on. The district staff is still working off the 2005-06 contract.

The $300,000 shortfall discovered in July has forced the district to be frugal this year. One area that took a big hit was staff salaries, which received no raises this year.

"I am guessing that we are going to end up with no raise at all for the 2006-07 school year," Curran said. "It will be a complete freeze. Everyone will stay at the same salary level they were at in 2005-06. We haven't voted on that yet or ratified that yet, but I am anticipating that's what the money is going to tell us by June 1."

Curran was hoping for a decision from the board Monday night, but knew the board would present an offer that he would counter offer.

"I would love for the board to come back and say 'yep we'll accept what you offered us,'" Curran said. "But, I already knew that wasn't going to happen.

"We are hoping that with the new salary schedule that we'll have raises for our contracts and they'll divide that up and pay it out like they normally do," Curran said.

The school board will continue discussing negotiations at Monday's meeting. It will begin at 7 p.m. in the District Office.

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