July 1, 2019
Park County RE-2 School District Allows Contract with its Educators to Expire
School District Unwilling to Negotiate with Educators
FAIRPLAY, CO – Yesterday, June 30th, the contract for 90 educators of the Park County School District RE-2 expired and the school board has been unwilling, thus far, to negotiate a new deal. The contract establishes terms and conditions for the learning and working conditions for students and educators. Park County educators’ salaries rank 131 out of Colorado’s 178 school districts and the county ranks 33rd in the state in cost of living, yet the district continues to maintain 72% in reserves, although only 3% is required by Colorado state law.
“We have one of the least competitive salaries in the state and the district is unwilling to do what’s right. We’re losing good teachers and paraprofessionals every year because they can’t afford to make ends meet in our community. It’s no wonder why nearly half of all South Park educators work two or more jobs. The district has the ability to pay us a living wage, but they aren’t transparent and won’t tell us why they stockpile 72% in their reserves,” said South Park Education Association President Taya Mastrobuono.
While the SPEA and the district have had a contract for the past 15 years, the school board has never been willing to negotiate salary and has not negotiated a new contract with the union for the 2019-2020 school year. The district allowed the current contract to expire and has not indicated if or when negotiations will resume.
“We are simply asking that the district extend our current contract so that we can meet with a mediator to help us work together in the best interest of our students,” Mastrobuono continued. “We have a mutual interest – our students – and they deserve it.”
A mediation session between the district and SPEA is tentatively scheduled for August 23, 2019, though the district has refused to indicate whether they are willing to come to the table to negotiate salary or not.
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