Pasco Teachers to Attempt Mediation in Contract Talks
Thursday, March, 28, 2019
The Pasco Teachers union – United School Employees of Pasco – and the Pasco School District are headed to mediation in an attempt to resolve their dispute over teacher and employee contracts. If mediation attempts should fail, the dispute would be resolved in a state hearing.
The union recently declared the ongoing collective bargaining discussions unsuccessful and stated there were four issues in dispute:
- Performance evaluations
- Raise distribution
- Turnaround training and seniority during layoff
- Transfer decisions
The union filed a declaration for mediation and began reviewing potential magistrates to oversee the process, but eventually opted to seek a federal mediator before heading to hearings. The school district and the union are considering possible mediators – a decision both will need to agree on.
The mediator will be tasked with reviewing both the union’s proposal and the school district’s proposal and determined whether a compromise is possible based on those proposals. Then he or she will discuss potential resolutions with both sides.
Though the two sides are headed to mediation, the lead negotiators for both sides continue to discuss relevant issues in the dispute. One of the main issues they continue to discuss is whether to remove the seniority debate from the conversation in order to spend more time researching both interpretations of state law.
Both sides have come to a consensus on contract negotiations and pay raises; two of the most common issues in negotiations between school districts and teachers’ unions. Both sides expect to be able to resolve their dispute and not need the state hearing.