Home Opinion Editorials Still feeling unsettled
Still feeling unsettled
The Baker School Board wisely agreed to settle the teachers union’s grievance.
The board’s decision earlier this month probably saved the school district thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees. Also, the union agreed to forego a cost-of-living raise next school year.
That’s a good deal for taxpayers.
Nonetheless, we’re not satisfied that this settlement actually settles the key issue or protects those taxpayers in the future.
That issue being the district needing to end the school year early and to cut teachers’ pay as a result.
Which, of course, is what the district did in 2009.And it was the decision to trim five days from the school year — and five days’ pay from employees — that prompted the teachers union to file the grievance.
Under the settlement, the board agreed to pay teachers for 1ﬁ of those days; also, teachers who attend training will receive another 1ﬁ days’ pay.
The board, quite understandably, wanted the union to acknowledge that the district might need to end school early in the future to balance its budget.
What the board got was only the union’s agreement to “discuss in good faith” the issue.
In other words, the next time the district decides to cut days from the school year, it might well have to deal with another grievance.
Doug Dalton, the district’s business manager, said he’s optimistic, based on recent meetings with union members, that “misunderstandings” will be less likely in the future. Dalton said the district’s goal is to give the union a checklist of sorts that shows under which circumstances the school year would end early.
We hope his optimism proves to be well-founded.