Lawrence school district, teachers union make progress during 7-hour mediation, but don’t reach agreement

photo by: Nick Krug

Lawrence Public Schools district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.

Negotiating teams with the Lawrence school district and the district teachers union spent seven hours with a federal mediator Monday but were unable to reach agreement on a 2018-2019 contract for teachers.

The district and Lawrence Education Association have been at impasse since August over wages and issues involving staffing and teacher input in classroom suspensions. The union is asking for a $1,600 increase in the district base salary for first-year, inexperienced teachers and for step raises for years of service and additional education. The school board has offered a $500 salary increase.

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Dave Cunningham, district legal counsel and executive director of human resources, said progress was made Monday, but that the two sides remain in mediation. The district negotiating team will meet in executive session with the Lawrence school board at its meeting Monday, Nov. 26, to discuss items developed from the mediation session.

Cunningham anticipated the board would make decisions that would then be shared Tuesday, Nov. 27, with union negotiators. The union negotiators could then choose to take an agreement based on the board decisions to its membership for ratification, ask for another mediation session or release the mediator and continue to the next step of the process, he said.

The next step would be engaging a fact-finder from a list that the Kansas Department of Labor provides. The fact-finder would listen to presentations from both sides before making a recommendation.

More coverage

Oct. 10 — Lawrence school district, teachers union agree to 2nd day of federal mediation on 2018-19 contract

Oct. 9 — Lawrence school district, union to meet with federal mediator in attempt to end contract impasse

Aug. 29 — Lawrence school district, teachers union at impasse over 2018-19 contract

Aug. 28 — Lawrence school district, teachers union will try to narrow $1 million compensation gap

Aug. 10 — Teacher pay proposals from union, district leaders differ by more than $1 million

July 18 — Lawrence union asks for new contract that would give all teachers at least $2,200 raise

June 4 — Lawrence teachers union proposes adding 5 positions; negotiators defer salary discussion


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