May 4, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
School Board approves bargaining agreement with teachers union
Settlement prevents teacher layoffs and cuts to programs
The Gresham-Barlow School Board voted to approve the proposed collective bargaining agreement for 2011-14 between the school district and the teachers union at its May 3 meeting.
The tentative agreement was reached April 25, after an overnight negotiations session. The teachers union went on strike at 6 a.m. that morning. A settlement was reached at approximately 9:30 a.m.
“The agreement provides the district’s teachers and leaders with key changes that support our work to provide a quality education to our students,” said Superintendent Jim Schlachter.
Agreement with teachers union prevents layoffs
“While school districts across Oregon are laying off teachers and cutting programs, parents and students in the Gresham-Barlow School District will have a reprieve from those painful reductions,” said Superintendent Jim Schlachter. “This agreement means the district will be able to stay within its budget and maintain its well-rounded educational and co-curricular program next school year.”
During the meeting, Superintendent Schlachter also highlighted contract changes that will allow the district to continue to improve its educational program:
· Contract language that allows for a significant increase in instructional time for high school students through a seven- period schedule
· Contract language that makes it possible for the district to align its calendar at all levels so that elementary, middle
school, and high school students will have similar schedules and staff will have time to work together on
· An agreement by the teachers union to participate in a school board initiated Student Discipline and Safety Study
Overview of financial elements
The financial elements of the agreement will allow the district to stay within its budget for next year and prevents teacher layoffs. In the agreement, the teachers union gave its approval to cut five days in 2011-12 and in 2012-13.
Teachers agreed to forgo cost of living adjustments in the first two years of the contract. There will be no cost of living adjustment in the third year unless the state provides funding for K-12 education that is equal to or exceeds $6.4 billion.
The new contract includes a step increase in pay for eligible teachers during the 2011-12 school year. Teachers will also receive step increases over the next two years, although each step increase will not go into effect until the end of each contract year.
Teachers will see their monthly insurance cap increase slightly in 2012-13 to match that of other employee groups. The insurance cap will increase from $1010 to $1110 per month in 2013-14.
Parents should watch for information about how the approved contract will affect students and families during May.