USEP Declares Impasse

USEP Declares Impasse


Tonight the United School Employees of Pasco bargaining teams offered proposals for both the School Related Personnel (SRP) and Instructional Bargaining Units. The USEP proposals were both feasible and reasonable asking the Board to invest in its employees, and improve working conditions through contract language. Unfortunately, the District failed to respond to the majority of items that have been on the table for months.

USEP President, Kenny Blankenship closed the bargaining session stating, “Since District is not willing to further engage us in negotiations, we are declaring impasse and will be contacting the Public Employee Relations Commission (P.E.R.C.) tomorrow morning.”

USEP passed language from both Bargaining Units that has been on the table since the summer and an economic proposal with a 3.75% salary increase. “A 3.75% salary increase is not only possible, it is necessary. Compared to other Bay area counties, Pasco employees are paid the least,” said Val Smith, USEP’s Chief Negotiator for the Instructional team.

Jim Ciadella, Chief Negotiator for the SRP stated, “I’m truly frustrated by the lack of movement from the District, and therefore we must initiate the impasse process through the Public Employee Relations Commission and we are hoping for a favorable resolution from this process.”

SRP Vice President Lee Beville added, “I feel our SRP aren’t appreciated, they are paid into poverty because most of us only work 180 days each year. Many of us have second and third jobs or we go without. We think the District can dig a little deeper and do a little better. We don’t think it’s unreasonable that we have language forming a Resolutions Committee for SRP issue just like we have for the Bus Drivers!”

“There is more to negotiations than just the pay! If we want our students to have the best education possible, then we need to provide contract language that ensures that SRP and teachers are treated better so that they’ll be invested in our schools and community and stay here, instead of walking away a few miles to the south to make more money,” Blankenship offered.

“Our SRP and teachers are over worked and under-valued. Because our working conditions are the student’s learning conditions, we believe it is imperative that teachers have the security of contract renewal language for another year if they have met the requirements of the job and been rated ‘Effective’ or ‘Highly Effective’ after three years of service in the District,” said Lisa Mazza, Instructional Vice President.

USEP is issuing a call to action for its bargaining unit members to:

  • Attend the November 15th School Board meeting. Meet in the School Board parking lot at 4:30 PM before the Board meeting.
  • Wear Red for Public Ed Tuesday. Members and Potential members are asked to wear red shirts every Tuesday for the rest of the semester.
  • Walk-In and Work the Contract Wednesday. Each Wednesday meet at the front of your worksite at the beginning of the work day, leave at the end of your contracted work day, and work the contract for at least one day each week. Stop doing all the extra-contractual work that is being done on Wednesdays and go home to enjoy your families.
  • Write your School Board member.

Ask the School Board to fulfill the promise of the Superintendent and “Invert the Pyramid.” This is an unfulfilled promise that was made four years ago for which teachers and SRP have been waiting and watching to no avail. In fact, if anything, the Superintendent has expanded the forces at the top effectively turning the pyramid into a trapezoid.

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If you are an employee of Pasco County Schools and not already a member of USEP, consider joining today! Members are eligible for a wide range of benefits through our affiliates and benefit partners. USEP also provides members with professional development opportunities and representation for member issues.