- We asked them to set up a process to address building safety and health concerns, and the school board members have refused.
- We asked them to set up a process and offer training to address student and staff safety concerns, and the school board members have refused.
- We asked them to add language to make sure all members have a chance to use the restroom during the work day. The school board members have refused. This lack of provision has led to serious health issues. The school board wants this to be up to each building principal's judgment (but the problem exists largely because of individual building principals).
- We have asked to be able to meet the wide diversity of working parent needs with parent/teacher conference scheduling. The school board members have refused.
- We have asked them to keep current contract language to ensure a fair process for layoffs and recalling employees back to work. The school board insists on dismissing people without a fair process.
- On Sunday, we met the school board's financial demands, and they turned their own offer down.
- Monday morning we met their financial demands again. Despite their clamoring for this condition for over a year, when we gave it to them they ended the mediation session.
- The school board continues to cry bankruptcy while at the same time proposing a 2012-13 budget that calls for millions in new staffing, equipment, programs, and administrators.
- For the last five years, the school board has not spent an average of $914,582 annually on PERS costs that it budgeted. Where does that $4.5 million go?
- For the last five years, the school board has not spent an average of $834,613 on health insurance benefits that it budgeted.
- This is a combined average of $1,749,195 per year for the last five years in overestimated expenditures. Where does that $8.746 million go?
- In the 2009-10 school year the school board increased their year-end surplus by $10,838,736 from the previous year. They did this while laying off 150 teachers.
- In 2010-11 the school board increased the budget surplus by another $2,612,614. They then laid off 70 instructional assistants who work with students.
- In the last two years, the school board has laid off 220 employees while growing its surplus to over $18 million instead of keeping local jobs and class resources.
There are signs of hope. May 2012 is the first time the school board has agreed to meet with us more than once in a calendar month during this five-month mediation process. The May 20/21 mediation session showed the school board was willing to put in substantive time instead of its typical 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. approach the last several months (often disappearing for hours in the middle).
We hope the school board is starting to understand there are complicated issues to address, and that bargaining is more than slapping a number on the table and leaving when you don't get your way.