Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Negotiations Impasse Media Release

June 26, 2012

Contact: Jennifer Boehme

President, Jordan Education Association
Telephone: 801-262-2449 ext. 2

Jordan Teachers Declare Impasse in Contract Negotiations

The Jordan Education Association (JEA) today announced it has declared impasse in contract negotiations with the Jordan School District for the 2012-13 school year and will enter mediation according to Utah State Law.

JEA is asking for mediation because of the school district’s failure to provide adequate resources to ensure the recruitment and retention of quality teachers in Jordan School District. JEA also opposes a district proposal to eliminate the voice of teachers in negotiating policies that impact the student learning environment and employee working conditions.

One issue leading to impasse is the district’s proposal to end the practice of collaborating with educators in negotiating policies that impact the student learning environment and teachers’ working conditions. “JEA believes it is vitally important for the voice of teachers and other employees to be heard and considered when addressing policies that are important to students’ learning conditions and teachers’ working environment,” said JEA President Jennifer Boehme.

Negotiating this year through a hired attorney rather than directly with educators, Jordan School District extended an offer that included increases on the salary schedule for the 2012-13 school year, but no increases for the 2013-14 school year unless the Legislature were to provide funding specifically for that purpose. The Legislature has never earmarked money specifically for step-and-lane salary increases.

“We are concerned that the district’s unwillingness to consider salary increases for the 2013-14 school year puts the district at risk of losing quality teachers to surrounding school districts that are providing increases,” said Boehme. Because of budget shortfalls, Jordan School District teachers agreed to forego step-and-lane salary increases during two of the past three years.

A counter-offer by JEA to accept step-and-lane increases for 2012-13 along with continuing the status of negotiated policies was rejected by the school district.

“We are disappointed the Jordan School Board elected to negotiate through a contracted attorney rather than directly with teachers,” said Boehme. “Schools work best when everyone collaborates.” The JEA negotiations team consists of three teachers who volunteer their time to represent the interests of educators.
See also Salt Lake Tribune article and KUTV 2 News story.

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