Archive for Thursday, August 21, 2008

Teachers, district reach tentative deal on contracts

Lawrence schools are in session, but for teachers, one question looms over the new academic year.

August 21, 2008


A federal mediator brokered a tentative deal Wednesday night between the Lawrence school district and the Lawrence Education Association. Terms of the deal were not immediately available.

Frank Harwood, the district's chief negotiator, said a deal was reached about 10:40 p.m., more than five and a half hours after talks began at the district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive.

"We're certainly glad that we have an agreement, and we certainly hope both sides feel like they were able to get the things they were looking for," he said.

LEA President Adela Solis echoed Harwood's remarks.

"I'll say something I've said all along: It helps when the parties are talking to each other," she said.

The lengthy negotiating session with a mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service was the final chapter in talks that stalled in June and were jump-started to no avail on Monday.

But the efforts of mediator Peggy McNieve appear to have glossed over a rift that formed between the two sides, as they battled over the issues of salary raises, teacher planning time, an added day of work for professional development, leave time and reimbursement for academic credits that some teachers are required to earn.

A mediator was last used in negotiations during the 1992-93 school year, which failed to result in a contract before a fact-finding session

McNieve held a joint meeting with the two sides to go over the issues stalling negotiations. Then the two groups moved to separate rooms to discuss their demands, as McNieve floated between the two, attempting to close the gaps.

Neither Harwood nor Solis could give details about the tentative agreement because they were not present to speak at the same time. They have an agreement to speak publicly about the details together.

More details will be available today. Check back for updates to this story.


ryknow1976 9 years, 10 months ago

The teachers and supporting staff (paras, SROs, maintenance, etc.) in this city are some of the hardest working educators I have ever come across. I only hope that the parents of Lawrence realize how much of themselves these people put into their jobs.

Stephen Roberts 9 years, 10 months ago

ryknow1976 - Now that the teachers got more money, the rest of district staff will get less. The admin has been waiting for these negotiations to get over so see how much they will have to reduce the raises for the rest of the district, if any.

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