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Archive for Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Teachers, district to meet with mediator about size of raises

June 13, 2012

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The Lawrence school district and its teachers union will meet with a mediator in July after failing to agree on the size of raises for teachers Wednesday.

Both sides moved closer on the salary issue throughout the nearly five-hour negotiating session and came to agreement on the other parts of the contract. At the end of the evening, however, they were still $500 apart on the size of raises for teachers.

Teachers are paid based on a pay schedule that provides more money both for teachers with more education and for teachers with more years of service, up to a maximum amount.

Both the district and the union offered plans that would allow teachers to move to new levels on the pay schedule. The district’s offer was to increase each level on the schedule by $1,000, and the union countered with an offer to increase each level by $1,500.

Kyle Hayden, the district’s chief operations officer, said the district’s salary offer would put an additional $1.42 million into the salary pool, about 3.5 percent higher than the previous year.

“I think we’ve given what we have to give,” said Bob Byers, a school board member.

The district and the teachers union agreed on Wednesday on a range of other issues. They agreed to keeping the existing contract language on issues like plan time and the duty day, and agreed to implement a new method of evaluating teachers.

But a sticking point in the negotiations involved a one-time $1,000 payment given to teachers last year.

Byers reiterated his belief that one-time payments were not meant to carry over into the next year’s salary calculations.

David Reber, the union’s lead negotiator and a science teacher at Free State High School, said that half of the teachers in the district had already reached the maximum amounts on the pay schedule for years of service. For those people, he said, their salaries would be the same as they were last year.

“I think people are going to look at that and say, ‘I’m not getting any more,’” Reber said. “We’re going to have half the people upset.”

Hayden said that in the end the union’s last offer was still 50 percent higher than the district’s last offer.

“It’s still a significant chunk of money,” Hayden said. “And it’s well beyond what I have the authority to give.”

After the meeting, Reber said that year after year other districts in the state get better raises than in Lawrence.

“Lawrence isn’t unique in their budget woes compared to everywhere else,” he said.

Comments

Ladybug2 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree that the teachers have an important job but what about all of the people behind the scenes who are working just as hard. Many of them have college educations too but I don't see the teachers standing up for them. I say they should all get the same percentage of a raise!!

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Scott Morgan 1 year, 10 months ago

Most likely teachers do not wish to join a blog where they are berated and disrespected.

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tbaker 1 year, 10 months ago

Why don't the teachers post to this blog and list all of their accomplishments and demonstrate why they deserve a raise?

For example, maybe they could post a simple briefing that demonstrates:

How they have raised test scores higher than numerous foriegn countries. How the public schools are doing compared to the private schools. How decades of increases in per-pupil education spending have finally paid-off. How they have reduced the drop out rate. How they have increased the number of 9th graders who eventually graduate.

If they have done any of these things, they should be shouting them from the roof tops. Why can't they at least attempt to justify (merit) the raise they want like every other working person does?

I'm curious - if they do get a raise, does a portion of it have to go to the union in increased dues? Hummmm.....

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JackMcKee 1 year, 10 months ago

Protip: if you are a teacher living in Kansas. move.

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purplesage 1 year, 10 months ago

Every year, we go though this, our dedicated professionals acting like blue-collar union labor. Come on! They work 10 months a year. So, they want $150 a month. Their health insurance, in most cases, is unbelievablly good coverage for this day and age, and they have KPERS (or did) with an 85 and out retirement provision. Teachers demand raises, take up the bulk of the money the schools have, and though they give lip service to the support staff, are quite content to let those folks go year in and year out with little or no increase in pay, certainly not enough to meet COLA standards.

All of this means that a teacher with a few years experience can make a pretty decent living these days and have a good retirement - or as some do - 2 retirements, just by changing districts.

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 10 months ago

I was "Union" educated. Pay the "Union" whatever they want. They 'teach' me reel good. They valuable "private business" work force. The FLex says private business is doing fine. So 'pay' them for doing their "Union" joarbs.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 10 months ago

I haven't made a "raise" in 5 years. Most people I know are happy to have joarbs. Quit whining teachers. You "work"* 8 months out of the year.

*work meaning no measurable outcome expected

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 10 months ago

How about this, let them work 12 months a year. Get rid of the entrenchment and institute a performance based system.

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toe 1 year, 10 months ago

No need to pay more. There is an unlimited supply of new teachers living in Lawrence unable to find jobs. Let the market work and most school funding issues would be solved.

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Liberty_One 1 year, 10 months ago

Better headline: Teachers, District to meet about how much to loot the public.

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Scott Morgan 1 year, 10 months ago

A relative of mine who works for the district tells me LPS has lagged behind other districts, regarding pay. Many near here, and none paying less than Lawrence.

So, what seems to be rather large raises for instructors is actually in fact the district making up for the years they lagged behind. " district making up for the years they lagged behind"

Folks, this is not the bean factory where you can hire another line worker. She told me when we lose a teacher, we often lose the best. The best meaning committee members, academic leaders, mentors, years of experience.

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Mike Edson 1 year, 10 months ago

Mr. Reber, maybe you should move to one of those other school districts where the grass is so much greener on the other side. Not everyone agrees with your negotiating tactics. Always going for broke will just cause a stalemate.

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Eride 1 year, 10 months ago

The majority of Lawrence residents have not received a raise in several YEARS. I agree that education is necessary and valuable. However, there is a simple reality that teachers are paid from public funds, and the citizens who provide said funds have been suffering from wage stagnation. The money is not there. Any raise is laughable, teachers demanding raises of 4-6% is asinine.

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