Educators Await Salary Counterproposal from District Before Moving on Strike Vote
FAIRPLAY, Colo. – Following 10 hours of talks yesterday, the negotiation teams for South Park Education Association (SPEA) and Park County School District (PCSD) had made some progress on several areas of a contract but did not reach any settlement on educators salaries for the current school year.
The SPEA team told district officials and school board members early Friday morning that all members were prepared to take a strike vote if educator pay, the most vital issue to improving school quality for Park County students, was not addressed. However, the educators had to wait into the early evening before the district agreed to begin talks on a competitive salary schedule.
“It was a long, frustrating day because we believed educator pay was on the agenda for the mediation, but we didn’t broach the topic until several hours into the session. The day ended with some optimism and we’re pleased the Board listened to our concerns and seems willing to engage in salary talks,” said SPEA president Taya Mastrobuono. “Pay is our most important issue. The salary schedule we’re working under now is not competitive with other districts and has no input from educators. When the district can’t retain and hire educators through a competitive salary schedule, our students suffer the most.
“We are prepared to take a strike vote if the Board does not take the next step forward and bring us back to the table with a competitive salary offer that supports educator retention and student learning,” Mastrobuono continued. “We do not want to strike. We want to be in school with our students, but we are prepared to do whatever it takes to advocate for our students and our community.”
Educators stated they expect to receive a written salary counterproposal from the district by Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 4:00 p.m. to the salary proposal the SPEA offered to the district during the Aug. 6 mediation session.
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