“The board has agreed to come back to the table on Friday, and we are very hopeful we can get a tentative agreement,” she said.
Those concerned about the labor negotiations shouldn’t be overly worried, said Steve Castator, director of pupil personnel.
“Labor negotiations can be a divisive time for a school and community. We realize that emotions run high as rumors swirl about what may or may not be happening during the process,” said Castator.
Castator sent a message to school families. It read that “the negotiating teams have met for only 2.5 days over the last three months, and because negotiations are ongoing, we can’t disclose specifics at this time.
“We can say that we’re committed to finalizing an agreement with the REA as soon as possible, and we look forward to being at the bargaining table with them again.
“Our teaching staff is full of hardworking, talented professionals who deserve fair pay. We’re committed to reaching an agreement that recognizes that fact, while also being mindful of the district’s short and long-term finances, and how your tax dollars are being spent.
“We would like to remind everyone that we have yet to collect any money from the May 2019 Earned Income Tax increase that our community passed. We’ll receive a prorated portion from that levy in 2020 but won’t receive the full amount until 2021.
“This fact is important because the current negotiations are just for this school year. We will be embarking on full negotiations in February 2020 for a multi-year agreement with the REA.
“It’s imperative that we keep the big picture in mind when negotiating the agreement for this year, as we’ll be negotiating teacher compensation again for a longer period of time (the next 2-3 year contract) in a few short months.