By now, many of you are at the school board meeting at SKHS wearing red. There are many parents and students there with you to show their support. Your bargaining team is also with you tonight. There may be some people attending this evening who have not yet understood that there is enough money to tackle class size issues and leave the district in a healthy financial situation. It takes time sometimes to understand what can feel complex. While our time to bargain is running out, we have time, tonight, to share our stories.
We began bargaining this morning with a couple of mediators on hand. Both teams requested a mediator from the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) to help clarify issues and to try to reach an agreement. Mediators, as many of you know, cannot force a settlement. They do not have authority to force any side to do anything but they are there to help move things forward. Our side feels we are not making progress on the big issues and getting a mediator was the next logical step.
When mediators first arrive, things tend slow down a bit until they get the lay of the land. That is the phase we are in at the moment. We are frustrated because we feel the district has not been able to come up with answers to our questions. We continue bargaining tomorrow. We will get you a report on tonight’s meeting tomorrow morning.
One good thing that happened today — we welcome a few new employees who are here replacing those who have retired or moved on. They signed up for WEA membership and we were able to connect with them. Some are at the meeting this evening. Feel free to share your own stories from tonight in the comment section of the blog. Over and out for now.