From the Negotiations Table

May 29, 2015

Attend the NEXT Negotiations meeting

Friday, June 5th, 5pm

110 McDonald Dr

Lawrence, KS

For those unfamiliar with Negotiations meetings, the audience does not give input at meetings. However, the number of people who turn out sends a signal to both sides of the negotiations table.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Continuing Negotiations Topics

The LEA and the District negotiations teams are still negotiating the following Articles of the Master Agreement [MA]:

Article 8- Salary

LEA originally proposed a $500 increase on each cell of the salary schedule in addition to vertical and horizontal movement. The District countered with an offer of $300 on each cell but with only horizontal movement and contingent on the state legislature funding the "Block Grant" in full.

This article will be discussed at the next Negotiations meeting.

Article 15- Work Year

The District originally proposed transferring 2 days of elementary instructional time into district professional development days. LEA countered with transferring 3 days of instructional time into teacher directed plan time.

This article will be discussed at the next Negotiations meeting.

Article 16- Duty Day

This article will be discussed at the next Negotiations meeting.

Article 17- Plan Time

This article will be discussed at the next Negotiations meeting.

Tentative Agreements

The LEA and the District negotiations teams have reached Tentative Agreements [TA] on the following Articles in the Master Agreement [MA]:

Article 7- Contract

Updates notification dates: deleting the 2014-15 dates and adding the 2019-20 dates.

Article 9- Fringe Benefits

The District continues to provide a fully covered single plan at the same deductible ($471.38/ mo. = 6.7% increase). In addition, the District will fully cover a single plan for part time employees working 30 or more hours a week.

The District originally proposed fully covering a single plan for part time employees working 30 or more hours a week to meet Affordable Care Act requirements. ACA now requires employers pay for 100% of a single plan for employees working 30+ hours. However, the District made up for the additional cost by decreasing benefits for everyone working less than 30 hours.

Rationale: LEA's position is the District is required by ACA to fund a full single policy for anyone working 30 or more hours. ACA doesn't require the district to raise the cost of coverage for employees working less than 30 hours.

Article 11- Extra Duty Assignment

LEA originally proposed, and the district declined, a $1 increase in the non-curricular and curricular ($14 and $22) extra duty pay. The District will continue to pay the current rate for extra duty ($13 and $21).

Article 18- Professional Development

The District originally proposed, and LEA declined, changing 2 days of elementary collaboration time into 2 days of district professional development. Rationale: Collaboration between teachers is essential and, under the district plan, teachers would have had to collaborate on their own time.

Article 19- Evaluation

Both LEA and the District accepted the Evaluation Committee Report assigning the state assessments as the Measure of Student Progress mandated by KSDE as part of teachers' evaluations.

Article 22- Grievance Procedure

LEA originally asked, and the District declined, for LEA to be allowed to file grievances on behalf of teachers. Rationale: The measure was needed to protect teachers' from retribution. The board's concern was LEA would then be filing large numbers of grievances to be punitive. Human Resources reaffirmed the District's interest in communicating with employees who have concerns about administration.

Article 25- Leave

LEA originally asked for an increase the cap on Illness Leave Pool days used each year from 225 to 300 and to clarify language in the Master Agreement that there is no cap on the accumulation of ILP days. An agreement was reached to leave the use cap at 225 days per year, but clarify MA language that there is no cap on the number of ILP days that can be accumulated.

The District originally asked, and LEA declined, for language to be added to the Master Agreement to require teachers to get approval for using business leave on district professional development days. Rationale: The instances of teachers using business leave on district PD days is fewer than teachers who use business leave on a typical school day. If there is a problem with a specific teacher this should be handled on an individual basis instead of writing language for the few, not the masses.

Article 27- Employer Paid Contributions

LEA proposed, and the District accepted, an increase of $5 ($70 per month) in the District's contribution to teachers 403b retirement plan. Rationale: It is in both the District and teachers' interest for the 403b plan to be phased in as soon as possible. Teachers' will benefit from having an increased early retirement benefit. The District will benefit from paying less directly in early retirement benefits when the 403b plan is the choice of early retirees.

Article 29- Reduction in Force

The District originally proposed a change in language delaying RIF provisions until the 6th year of employment in the district. An agreement was reached instead to make RIF provisions take effect in teachers' 4th year of employment.

Action Items

What do YOU think?

Share your responses to items presented at the negotiations table directly with your LEA Negotiations Team members via email: David Reber (chair), Jeff Plinsky, Chris Cobb, Elizabeth Gabel, Stephne Bowen and Catherine Glidewell.

Click on the links below in the "LEA Negotiations Team" section to access each team member's email address.

NOTE: LEA negotiators volunteer their time to serve our members. The goal of the negotiations team is to advocate for a master agreement that benefits all LEA members. For the process of negotiations to work best for our members we need to maintain our professionalism when advocating for ourselves and our peers.

LEA Negotiations Team

Chair: David Reber, Free State H.S.

Secretary: Stephne Bowen, West M.S.

Chris Cobb, South M.S.

Jeff Plinsky, Lawrence H.S.

Catherine Glidewell, Langston Hughes Ele.

Elizabeth Gabel, Southwest M.S.