July 2, 2009

Lewis, Clark District at impasse

Lewis, Clark District at impasse
Another area school district has gone to impasse.
Tuesday night, Lewis and Clark became the latest district to fail to reach an agreement between teachers and the board. Lewis and Clark is comprised of three districts, North Shore, Plaza and Berthold.
What turned out to be the final negotiating session was in a classroom setting at the Ryder School. At the bargaining table were members of the Lewis and Clark Education Association and the Lewis and Clark negotiations committee. Also in attendance was a room full of Lewis and Clark staff members, keeping their fingers crossed, hoping for a solution, but that solution would not come.
The education association has presented three proposals to the board. Tuesday night, a fourth and final offer was laid out for the board’s negotiations team to consider.
Kris Bergstrom Kok and Andrea Anderson represent the LCEA. Board negotiators are Mike Lautenschlager, Lee Brandvold and Jack Hansen. The two sides have been meeting weekly, negotiating since the end of May.
The fourth proposal included seven points. The points included: Any raise to the base salary be given to all returning teachers.
LCEA officials were asking for a 4 percent increase the first year of the biennium, and a 5 percent increase the second year. The association had been seeking a 5 percent increase the first year and 6 percent increase the second year of the biennium. The members would also like the district to foot the bill for the anticipated increase in Blue Cross-Blue Shield fees.
Anderson and Kok maintain staff would like a percentage raise rather than the dollar amount raise proposed by the board. The board’s final offer was a $1,000 increase to the base and $1,150 increase to returning teachers. That was an increase from the board’s first offer, which was a $1,000 raise to the base and $800 to returning teachers.

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