This week the District and USEP bargaining teams returned to the table over economics. The instructional team also sought to finalize changes to the teacher evaluation process mandated under SB-736. A major development was the District abandoning its insistence on employee furloughs.
USEP waited to begin financial discussions until the new superintendent had time to review the District’s revenues and expenses. This year’s District budget included two employee furlough days, so furlough discussions took center stage. USEP stated that furloughs were unacceptable and proposed a one-time flat retention supplement for those employees who have been employed for at least one year: 38 cents per hour for SRP and $750 for teachers.
At the bargaining table, the District’s chief negotiator stated that Superintendent Browning identified enough savings to take furloughs off the table. Some of these savings resulted from the union and district agreeing to stop insurance coverage on August 31st for employees who resign at the end of the school year and to no longer allow new hires to bring in accumulated sick leave from other districts.
While the District negotiation team gave no indication that they would agree to salary increases, but the USEP teams reminded them that the State’s financial picture is improving and experiencing a surplus.