Impasse reached between school district and workers
After two months of back-and-forth bargaining, the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District and the California School Employees Association have come to an impasse.
CSEA, the union that represents the district’s 268 bus drivers, custodians, maintenance workers and other non-certificated employees, is asking for an 8 percent increase to the pay scale.
“The district feels they have made a good offer; CSEA would like more,” said Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Jo Wilson. “We are going to try to arrange for mediation in January or February, as soon as we can get a mediator.”
At meetings that took place on Dec. 6 and 7, the district’s negotiating team made a final offer of a 7 percent increase, according to CSEA president Dina Crider, who replaced former president Vince Deveney just weeks ago.
“All in all, we are not that far apart, but neither side was willing to move,” Wilson said. “The district has a certain amount of money and we are trying to make an offer that will work with that.”
Wilson declined any further comment, stating that she wished to keep negotiation information confidential until the issue could be resolved. The difference of that 1 percent equates to $56,000, according to CSEA negotiating team alternate Dennis Winchester.
“Any district that has a $35 million budget can find $56,000 to help their classified employees,” he said.
Ralph Johnson, the district’s assistant superintendent of business, declined comment on budget and negotiation numbers.
Crider maintained that the reason the CSEA negotiating team was not willing to accept the offer was because they had originally asked for much more, including increased insurance coverage, incentives for unused sick days, and the reinstatement of one hour of paid work each day that was recently cut from the schedules of custodians and food workers.
“We said we would give all that up if we could stay at 8 percent,” Crider said. “For everything we gave up, we didn’t think that was asking a lot.”
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