August 29, 2012
Negotiations between the Garvey School District and the Garvey Education Association continued on August 29, 2012. The session that had been scheduled for August 3rd was cancelled by the District.
The Association began the session by reminding the District of the offer to take two furlough days and to create a “staff development day” to relieve the general fund. A formal proposal was given to the District on July 5, 2012.
The Association then offered two additional furlough days, for a total of four.
- The District is interested in removing the “family plan” for GEA members and implementing a hard cap of $9500 for all GEA members.
- The Association offered the two extra furlough days to cover the cost to the District caused by the inclusion of the “family plan” during the 2013 calendar year.
- This would allow for a thorough discussion of medical benefits without the financial constraint caused by the “family plan.”
The District stated it was not interested in the additional furlough days, and that maybe a mediator should come in to mediate the health benefits discussion.
The Association stated it was premature to bring in a mediator since there had been no discussion surrounding fringe benefits to this point. The Association stated its desire to discuss medical benefits in an interest based bargaining setting.
The discussion turned to the unilateral decision to change instructional minutes across the District.
- GEA stated that a vote for furlough days which would have been a “slam dunk” in June, when it was first agreed to, would be more of a challenge since the District implemented their instructional minutes plan without any discussion with the Association.
- GEA noted that the concept of saving money by implementing a furlough day is based on the concept that employees don’t work so the District does not have to pay them.
- The District has implemented a plan to have the teachers work increased instructional minutes despite furlough days, essentially having teachers work more time with students for less money.
- The Association Bargaining Team was not sure how this would be viewed by the membership.
The Association asked for the rationale for the instructional minutes change. The District stated:
- The District is entitled to add more minutes within the contract.
- The Board has directed the District Team to not lower instructional minutes despite impending furlough days.
- There is a need in the District to increase seat time for students.
GEA caucused. Upon their return:
- The Association stated they wanted to sign the MOU for the two furlough days and the staff development day as soon a possible.
- They asked the District if they were willing to sign today.
- GEA also stated they would like to reconvene the Insurance Committee to start meeting with insurance carriers ASAP. The desire is to explore as many options as we can as we begin discussion on fringe benefits.
The meeting adjourned with agreement to reconvene at 1:30 PM. The District was to write the MOU Language so it could be signed.
The District subsequently contacted the Association and stated that the trigger cut calculation was no longer a flat dollar amount, and that they needed to recalculate the figures before writing the MOU.
No writing of the MOU ever occurred.