For the first time in seven weeks, representatives for Lawrence teachers and the school board will sit down at the negotiating table this month. And this time, a mediator will join them.
Gene Bralley, a mediator from the Kansas City, Mo., field office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, has been appointed to assist in negotiations, which have stalled over teacher salaries. Bralley will meet with the negotiators at West Junior High School on Aug. 24 seven weeks after negotiations went to impasse July 7.
Representatives of the Lawrence Education Assn. have proposed raising by 9.95 percent the amount of money spent on teacher salaries and fringe benefits. School board representatives have proposed a 6.95 percent increase.
The Lawrence school district isn't alone in reaching impasse in teacher negotiations this year in Kansas.
Bruce Cooper, director of negotiations and research at the Kansas-National Education Assn., said 42 of the state's 304 school districts were at impasse in teacher negotiations as of Friday. Forty of those at impasse have called in a mediator, and two have gone one step further to fact-finding.
IF A MEDIATOR isn't successful in helping negotiators reach an agreement, a fact-finder is sent to help the district. Under the fact-finding procedure, each negotiating team presents its case to the fact-finder, who comes back with a proposal.
If the negotiating teams cannot agree to the fact-finder's proposal, a school board can unilaterally issue contracts to teachers.
Cooper said 160 school districts have settled on contracts, and the remaining 100 districts continue negotiating.
All other Lawrence-area school districts, with the exception of DeSoto, have completed teacher negotiations and approved contracts for the coming year.
The DeSoto school board negotiating team and the teachers association formally declared impasse in July. A federal mediator is scheduled to meet with negotiators next week.
Here are the results of negotiations in other districts.
Baldwin: The starting salary went from $21,810 to $23,238 in a contract ratified in May. The district also contributed $50 a month to teacher salaries to help cover health insurance costs. Blue Cross and Blue Shield dropped the district's coverage this year because of low participation.
Eudora: The school board ratified the 1992-93 contract in December, increasing the starting salary from $23,000 to $23,500. Teachers also will receive an increase in the pay for rank advances.
Perry-Lecompton: The starting salary here increased from $20,410 to $23,100 in an agreement approved in June. The contract adds three days to the coming school year and an additional three during the 1993-94 school year.
Basehor-Linwood: The Association of Basehor-Linwood Educators (ABLE) came to an agreement with the school board in July to increase the starting salary from $21,650 to $23,250.
McLouth: Under an agreement approved last month, the district's starting salary will increase from $20,425 to $21,075. The agreement also calls for additional pay for teachers based on advanced education and years of teaching experience.
Tonganoxie: This district's contract raised the starting salary from $21,500 to $23,500 for the coming year. Teachers will receive an additional $550, up from $536, for every year they've taught, and $750, up from $730, for education steps they achieve. An extra 10 minutes each day and one more work day each year are included in the contract.
Wellsville: Teachers and board members in July ratified an agreement increasing the starting salary from $21,000 to $22,600. The contract also increases the school year by nine days, adding three days each year for three years starting with the 1993-94 school year.
The Lawrence school board's proposal would put the starting salary at $20,276, up from $19,358 in the 1991-92 school year. The LEA's proposal would put the starting salary at $20,831. Both negotiating teams have agreed to extending the school calendar by three days.